As part of the humanitarian admissions Program launched by French President Emmanuel Macron, twenty eight Ezidi families left Erbil International Airport on Wednesday May 22 for Toulouse, France.
“The initiative was the subject of a signing ceremony between IOM and the French Government attended Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad two weeks ago in Paris”, according to an IOM statement.
Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission thanked the French government for their “support to this vulnerable group of Ezidis, some of whom have gone through a terrible ordeal”, reaffirming that “IOM Iraq continues to assist all displaced Iraqi citizens, including Ezidis, both in areas of displacement as well as in their hometowns, to facilitate their sustainable reintegration.”
“Prior to their departure, IOM assisted the families with transportation from Dohuk to Erbil, accommodation in Erbil and medical check-ups. The teams also organized cultural orientation sessions and are facilitating their travel to France”, the IOM statement added.
French Consul General in Erbil Dominique Mas assured the Ezidi families, before their departure, that they will receive “protection, security, education, as well as medical and social support” in France.
The 28 families comprised of 132 members of the Ezidi community are moving to France five years after the Islamic State (IS) group overran Shingal (Sinjar) and committed numerous atrocities against the Ezidi population.
An estimated 6,417 Ezidis were kidnapped by the group, while 3,000 of them, mostly women and children, remain missing.