The subject of forensic specialist‘s work with human remains in the aftermath of conflict
has remained largely unexplored within the existing literature. Drawing upon
anthropological fieldwork conducted from 2009–10 in three mortuary facilities overseen by
the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH),
this article analyses observations of and interviews with ICMP forensic specialists as a
means of gaining insight into their experiences with the remains of people who went
missing during the 1992–95 war in BiH. The article specifically focuses on how forensic
specialists construct and maintain their professional identities within an emotionally
charged situation. Through analysing forensic specialists encounters with human remains,
it is argued that maintaining a professional identity requires ICMP forensic specialists
to navigate between emotional attachment and engagement according to each situation.
International interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that ultimately brought the war to
a standstill, emphasised recovering and identifying the missing as chief among the goals
of post-war repair and reconstruction, aiming to unite a heavily divided country. Still,
local actors keep,showing that unity is far from achieved and it is not a goal for all
those involved. This paper examines the various actors that have taken up the task of
locating and identifying the missing in order to examine their incentives as well as any
competing agendas for participating in the process. These efforts cannot be understood
without examining their impact both at the time and now, and we look at the biopolitics of
the process and utilisation of the dead within. Due to the vastness and complexity of this
process, instead of a conclusion, additional questions will be opened required for the
process to keep moving forward.
The Tomašica mass grave and the trial of Ratko Mladić
This article focuses on the judicial consideration of the scientific analysis of the Tomašica mass grave, in the Prijedor municipality of Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Often referred to as the largest mass grave in Europe since the Second World War, this grave was fully discovered in September 2013 and the scientific evidence gathered was included in the prosecution of Ratko Mladić before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Based on the exhaustive analysis of all the publicly available trial transcripts, this article presents how the Tomašica evidence proved symptomatic of the way in which forensic sciences and international criminal justice intertwine and of the impact of the former over the latter on the admissibility of evidence, the conduct of proceedings and the qualification of the crimes perpetrated.
Dispelling Misconceptions about Sexual Violence against Men and Boys in
Conflict and Displacement
Heleen Touquet, Sarah Chynoweth, Sarah Martin, Chen Reis, Henri Myrttinen, Philipp Schulz, Lewis Turner, and David Duriesmith
2020b ). Forms of violence vary between and within conflicts. For example,
forced witnessing of sexual violence against others – an often overlooked
type of sexual violence – was reportedly common in conflicts in
Bosnia-Herzegovina, eastern DRC and Myanmar, among others ( Touquet, forthcoming ; Chynoweth, 2019a ; Promundo,
2013 ). Genital violence was commonplace against men and boys in conflicts
in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kenya, and has been reported in other settings
Témoignage , here, was not only an act of speaking out
against state violence, but also an act of resistance against complicity with the
notorious practices of the Ethiopian state.
As cold war binaries collapsed in the 1990s, long-suppressed grievances erupted in
the form of civil wars, posing new challenges to the stability of nation states.
States retaliated viciously: from Iraqi Kurdistan to Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and
Chechnya, civilians came under increasing fire. Amid such
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
Cold War, which is endangering both humanitarian teams and the operations they
conduct. References to ‘before’ have been heard since the mid-1990s,
in the wake of the Bosnian War and the Tutsi genocide. The mass killings in Bosnia
and Rwanda – coming on the heels of the Somali and Liberian civil wars
– created a landscape of widespread violence, ‘anarchic
conflicts’ in which not even humanitarian workers or journalists were safe.
People stressed the contrast with earlier
Planned Obsolescence of Medical Humanitarian Missions: An Interview with
Tony Redmond, Professor and Practitioner of International Emergency Medicine and
Co-founder of HCRI and UK-Med
As an academic and practitioner for more than forty years, we asked Tony for his take
on innovation from a personal perspective and how this might have changed throughout
his career. Tony has worked with medical emergency teams in a range of disasters and
conflicts including earthquakes in Armenia (1988), Iran (1990), China (2008) and
Haiti (2010), conflicts in Bosnia (1991–96), Kosovo (1999–2000),
Sierra Leone (2000) and Gaza (2014
), ‘ Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
against Males: Recognition by and Responses of Humanitarian Organisations in
Africa ’ ( Unpublished doctoral
thesis , Nelson Mandela
University , Port
All Survivors Project (ASP)
( 2017 ), Legacies and Lessons: Sexual Violence against
Men and Boys in Sri Lanka and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rever herself faced threats to herself and her family in Europe and Canada traced to Rwandan forces.
This claim is based on my own conversations with HRW officials during my time working for them.
Barnett , M. ( 2003 ), Eyewitness to Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda ( Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press ).
Berry , M. E. ( 2018 ), War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina ( Cambridge : Cambridge University Press ).
Bradol , J-H. and Le Pape , M. ( 2017
this is legal, since 2006 ( Daccord, 2018 ). The British Red Cross also
admitted ‘a small number’ of sexual harassment or abuse cases in the
UK ( Gillespie et al. ,
2018 ). This sits in a longer international context, including the
controversies around UN peacekeeping forces, starting with Cambodia in 1993,
encompassing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, DRC and Haiti,
which led to the UN concluding in 2013 that the biggest risk in peacekeeping