Archive

  • South of the North

    20 years have past since the conflict in kosovo in 1998-1999 and for many families the wounds only deepen with time; for many are not able to find closure until they have found evidence of their loved ones. Even just one finger bone can help them move forward and accept the unjust and abrupt end of a life that was taken from them. Anything would be better than the purgatory of waiting and hoping that one day they will walk through the front door and flash that familiar smile or give a warm embrace. On 5 april 1999, serb soldiers entered the village of rezalle separating the men and boys from the women; the men and boys were later killed, 37 of who have been missing since the event. In december 2013, a gravesite in rudnica, raska, southern serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of searching. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of various institutions including the international committee of the red cross and the analysis of satellite images from the period of march – june 1999. Fifty-two sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to those who went missing during the conflict were exhumed between december and june 2014. Many of those identified were part of the missing from the events in rezalle village. While family members have tried to move on in the years following the conflict, the potential that their loved one’s remains might finally be found, reveals fresh and painful wounds.

  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 29 June 2014: Hata Rukolli chases her daughter through her husband's childhood home in Rezallë/Rezala. Her brother, a member of the KLA, was injured during the conflict and her husband Blerim lost his brother in the Rezallë/Rezala Event. On 5 April 1999, Serb soldiers had entered the village separating the men and boys from the women; the men and boys were later killed. Thirty-seven (37) persons have been reported as unaccounted for in relation to this event. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Mejë/Meja, Kosovo - 3 July 2014: A ‘Field of Tears’ cemetery and memorial site represents the event during which, the biggest number of persons disappeared in Kosovo. On 27 April 1999, in the village of Mejë/Meja, three-hundred-seventy-six (376) persons were killed in one day. Most of their human remains were discovered in Batajnica gravesite, Serbia as well as in other gravesites in Kosovo. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Merdare, Kosovo - 13 September 2014: The administrative boundary line between Kosovo and Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Merdare, Kosovo - 13 September 2014: Funeral home workers prepare coffins in preparation for the transfer of human remains from the gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 1 July 2014: A member of the Hoti family on the lawn of their house in Rezallë/Rezala. Two members of their family were killed on 5 April 1999 during the event which occurred in the village of Rezallë/Rezala during the Kosovo armed conflict. Their remains were recovered in a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 1 July 2014: A photo of Perparim Hoti in the Hoti family's house in Rezallë/Rezala. Perparim, aged 16, and his father Bejte were killed on 5 April 1999 during the event which occurred in the village of Rezallë/Rezala during the Kosovo armed conflict. His sister says that “she tried to save Perparim’s life, who was in the hands of Serb soldiers, by adorning him with a headscarf so that he would pass as a girl”. Their remains were recovered in 2014, in a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the  frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Raska, Serbia - 25 June 2014: An autopsy table being used for forensic activiities at the gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Zabel/Zabelj,Skenderaj/Srbica, Kosovo - 29 June 2014: A shrine to Martyrs of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), killed during the Kosovo armed conflict of 1998-99.
  • Pristina, Kosovo - 17 September 2014: A pack of cigarettes recovered with human remains at the gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia and photographed at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Pristina. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March- June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Skenderaj/Srbica, Kosovo - 30 June 2014: A room left as it was during the Kosovo armed conflict of 1998–99 at the Adem Jashari Memorial in Skenderaj/Srbica.
  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 29 June 2014: Sherife Rukolli tends an open fire at her family house in the village of Rezallë/Rezala, while making the traditional Albanian pie of flija. Sherife's home was used as a base by Serb forces and then subsequently burnt down during the Kosovo armed conflict of 1998-99. Sherife said that her son was taken away during the Rezallë/Rezale Event on 5 April 1999, during which, men and women were separated; the men were killed along the main road in the village. Thirty-seven (37) persons have been reported as unaccounted for in relation to this event. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 29 June 2014: The communal well in the village of Rezallë/Rezala. According to the villagers, on 5 April 1999, Serb soldiers entered the village and separated the men and boys from the women; the men and boys were later killed. Thirty-seven (37) persons have been reported as unaccounted for in relation to this event. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Raska, Serbia - 25 June 2014: The remains of a human hand exhumed at the gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 29 June 2014: Blerim Rukolli prays at his family home in Rezallë/Rezala Village. Blerim's brother went missing during the event that occurred along the main road in the village of Rezallë/Rezala. On 5 April 1999, Serb soldiers entered the village and separated women from the men; the women were forced to leave the village on foot, while the men were killed. Thirty-seven (37) persons have been reported as unaccounted for in relation to this event. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Rezallë/Rezala, Kosovo - 29 June 2014: A communal stone path in the village of Rezallë/Rezala. On 5 April 1999, Serb soldiers entered the village separating the men and boys from the women; the men and boys were later killed. Thirty-seven (37) persons have been reported as unaccounted for in relation to this event. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Pristina, Kosovo - 17 September 2014: A razor and case recovered with human remains exhumed at the gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia and photographed at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Pristina. Many men were hiding out in the forest amid frigid temperatures just prior to being killed and were carrying items related to hygiene, as well as, in some cases, extra pairs of socks. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Serbia - 3 July2014: A view of Raska from the road up to Kopaonik Mountain. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Zhabel/Zabelj, Kosovo - 20 September 2014: Family members carry the portraits of four (4) villagers of the Buçinca and Ahmeti families at their funeral, who had been killed during the Kosovo armed conflict of 1998-99 and who had been missing for fifteen years.In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Zhabel/Zabelj, Kosovo - 20 September 2014: Family members carry the portraits of Afrim and Valbon Ahmeti at the funeral of four (4) villagers of the Buçinca and Ahmeti families who had been killed during the Kosovo armed conflict of 1998-99 and who had been missing for fifteen years. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Pristina, Kosovo - 17 September 2014: A shirt and scarf recovered with human remains exhumed at the gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia and photographed at the Department of Forensic Medicine in Pristina. Many men were hiding out in the forest amid frigid temperatures just prior to being killed and were carrying items related to hygiene, as well as in some cases, extra pairs of socks. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Zhabel/Zabel, Kosovo - 20 September 2014: Women help a family member overcome with grief at the funeral of four (4) villagers of the Buçinca and Ahmeti families who had been killed during the Kosovo armed conflict of 1998-99, and who had been missing for fifteen years. Their remains were recently exhumed at a gravesite found in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia. In December 2013, a gravesite in Rudnica, Raska, Southern Serbia, was located in an old quarry, after years of search. The site was discovered thanks to the joint efforts of relevant stakeholders within the frame of the ICRC chaired Working Group on Missing Persons. Satellite images from the period of March - June 1999 shared within that mechanism were of critical relevance to determining the location of the site. Fifty-two (52) sets of human remains and a number of body parts belonging to persons who went missing during the 1998-99 Kosovo armed conflict were exhumed between December and June 2014. Forensic experts from the Kosovo Department of Forensic Medicine, EULEX, ICMP and ICRC participated to and oversaw, as active observers, the works carried out at the site under the authority of the Serbian War Crimes prosecution. Between August and October 2014 all remains were handed over to EULEX on three separate occasions. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC
  • Gjakovë/Djakovica, Kosovo - 3 July, 2014: Kushtrim Koci, an ICRC employee paying respect at the grave of a friend who was killed during the armed conflict 1998 – 1999 in Kosovo. ©Nadia Shira Cohen/ICRC