Beirut– The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called upon Lebanese authorities to fulfill their obligations to uncover the fate of those who went missing during conflicts in Lebanon and to provide answers to their families.
“We have been constantly reminding authorities of their role towards this cause. It is about time the pain of the families becomes a priority,” said the head of the ICRC delegation in Lebanon, Christophe Martin, on the International Day of the Disappeared.
The ICRC reminded authorities and the Lebanese society as a whole of the long lasting suffering of the families of missing persons and of their right for assistance and information on their whereabouts. More than 40 years after the beginning of the Lebanese civil war, families are still waiting for answers, it said.
“Families have the right to know what happened to their loved ones and we cannot continue to ignore their pain. A few weeks ago, we lost Um Ahmed who died heartbroken not knowing the fate of her son Ahmed, a 23 year-old tailor who disappeared 30 years ago, on his way to work. There are thousands of tragic stories like Um Ahmed’s, of not only mothers, but also fathers, sisters and brothers who need answers. This has to stop,” said Martin.
Since 2012, the ICRC has been carrying out interviews with families to collect ante-disappearance data about their relatives who went missing during the war, in a bid to support future efforts aimed at clarifying the fate of missing people.
Since 2015, the organization has been collecting and storing biological reference samples from relatives of missing persons, for future DNA analysis.