In 2005, inforce was contracted to work with the Committee for Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) to locate the graves of those missing from the troubles of the 1960s and 70s. Initially, inforce participated in a number of meetings with the CMP and appointed scientists from both sides to explore various aspects of such a large-scale project. inforce also sent a team of forensic archaeologists to Cyprus to assess a number of sites and advise on possible excavation schedules. This lead to the request for an inforce forensic archaeologist to oversee the Emergency Exhumation Project (EEP) in June and July 2005.
This project addressed the danger some graves faced due to erosion or building projects in the northern part of the island. Five sites were investigated by a Turkish Cypriot CMP team with technical support by the inforce Foundation and with participation of the Greek Cypriot CMP. This bi-communal and immensely significant move towards the systematic and scientific excavation was equally supported by both sides in political and logistical terms.
The findings of the exhumation were presented each week to the CMP committee, who also visited one of the exhumation sites. Together, a number of potential sites to be excavated in the future were visited and assessed. The human remains and any associated artefacts were brought to a secure and suitable storage facility. There, the team cleaned and prepared the specimens for longer storage.
After the initial exhumation project was finished, inforce assisted the CMP in devising a detailed plan for the main project of exhumation and identification. inforce sent two experts to Cyprus to assess the suitability of buildings for use as a central anthropological laboratory, where identification work could take place in the future. Detailed plans were drawn based on inforce recommendations.
As part of the long-term strategy, inforce suggested a capacity building project to run parallel to any exhumation work, where Cypriot scientists from both sides could be trained and mentored into providing sustainable forensic capacity on Cyprus.