Ezidi boy rescued from IS reunited with mother in Canada
WINNIPEG, Canada (Kurdistan 24) – A 12-year-old Yezidi (Ezidi) boy freed from Islamic State (IS) captivity was reunited with his refugee mother in Canada on Thursday.
The boy, Emad Mishko Tammo, met his mother Nofa Zaghla behind airport security in a tearful reunion, the CBC reported.
The 12-year-old expressed his gratitude for the Canadian government and the president of The Liberation of Christian and Yezidi Children of Iraq Steve Maman.
Maman had organized a campaign to accelerate Tammo’s reunion with his mother in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“I’m happy, I’m very thankful for anyone that had any part in me reuniting with my mom,” Tammo said. “Thank you, Canada.”
“I’m very happy and very thankful to God that he got here safely and soundly,” his mother told reporters at the airport.
Zaghla and her family were kidnapped by IS in Sinjar (Shingal) when the group besieged the area in 2014.
Nearly 500,000 Ezidis were captured, killed, or became refugees in what the UN described as genocide against the minority group.
Tammo’s mother discovered her son was alive a month ago when footage of the boy emerged on Iraqi social media after Iraqi security forces rescued him in Mosul.
Activist groups began advocating for the family and called on the government to reunite Zaghla with her son.
The fate of her husband and other son remains unknown.
Zaghla and her four younger children managed to escape IS and arrived in Canada as government-supported refugees about six months ago.
The UN high commissioner for refugees representative in Canada Jean-Nicolas Beuze said Tammo’s case was “a testament to Canada’s work on refugee resettlement.”
The 12-year-old has a difficult challenge ahead of him as he suffers from psychological trauma, but being with his family is a step closer in the right direction.
The fate of thousands of Ezidis remains unknown, with many still in IS captivity in Syria and Iraq, and others killed and buried in mass graves.
Ezidis have asked the international community to offer more protection for the minority group in northern Iraq, and many require emotional and psychological support after suffering at the hands of the militant group.
Despite areas near Shingal having been retaken from the jihadists, thousands of Ezidis remain in camps in the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by G.H. Renaud