Thursday, July 23, 1998 Published at 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Up to '20,000' still missing in Bosnia
A personal belonging is discovered but the owner is still missing
A series of events designed to increase awareness of the problem of thousands of people still missing from the conflict in Bosnia is being held in the capital, Sarajevo.
The ICRC says that out of 19,943 queries from families searching for missing relatives, only 1,800 cases have been solved since the war ended in 1995.
"Some families cling to the hope that their loved ones are still alive, but the general assumption is that most are dead," he said.
The need to co-ordinate with separate efforts to gather forensic evidence for possible war crimes prosecutions is hampering the process of simply identifying victims the for the sake of their relatives.
A lack of resources, the difficulty in uncovering likely grave sites and the dangers of mines and other potential hazards have also added to the delays.
The head of the ICRC delegation in Bosnia, Peter Stocker, also blamed political indifference for hampering the search.
"There is lack of political will from the side of authorities to support their own commissions and provide the means for their work," he told reporters.