DNA fa­cil­i­ties to help name soldiers

Viet Nam News - - National -

HAØ NOÄI — Prime Min­is­ter Nguyeãn Taán Duõng has ap­proved the es­tab­lish­ment of two DNA test­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

One of their jobs will be to help iden­tify the re­mains of Viet­namese soldiers.

The Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity will build one VNÑ285 bil­lion (US$13.4 mil­lion) cen­tre and the Vieät Nam Academy of Science and Tech­nol­ogy will build another for VNÑ229 bil­lion ($10.7 mil­lion).

Deputy head of the De­part­ment of Na­tional Devo­tees un­der the Min­istry of Labour, In­valids and So­cial Af­fairs, Ñaøo Ngoïc Lôïi, said the cen­tres would help speed up the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of soldiers who died dur­ing the two re­sis­tance wars against French and US forces as well as in in­ter­na­tional mis­sions in Laos and Cam­bo­dia.

Thou­sands of the fallen are still un­ac­counted for, which has prompted Vieät Nam to try and iden­tify the re­mains of 10,000 in 2015 and 80,000 by 2020.

Lôïi said that at present, there were three cen­tres that could carry out DNA tests - the Mil­i­tary In­sti­tute of Foren­sic Medicine, the In­sti­tute of Bi­o­log­i­cal Tech­nol­ogy and the In­sti­tute of Bio­chem­i­cal and Pro­fes­sional Doc­u­ments.

He added that so far, the labour min­istry had worked with all three cen­tres and reached con­sen­sus on tech­nolo­gies, cat­e­gories and equip­ment.

Since 2011, more than 8,000 sam­ples have been col­lected, but only 2,331 iden­ti­fied. Last year, only 285 sam­ples were iden­ti­fied.

“The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process meets many dif­fi­cul­ties be­cause the re­mains have been buried for about 30 to 40 years, which low­ers the qual­ity of the DNA,” Lôïi said.

“ Be­sides, out- of- date fa­cil­i­ties and equip­ment have also af­fected much the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion process,” he said.

Lôïi said that this year, the labour min­istry would re­lease a man­ual on pro­ce­dures to iden­tify in­for­ma­tion and com­plete a data­base on soldiers, rel­a­tives, graves and cemeteries. —

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