About 28,000 Iraqis left for Europe in 2021, with about 7,000 from the Raparin district that includes Ranya and the nearby town of Qaladze

Shoes pile up outside the Mamand home in northern Iraq from relatives and friends who have streamed inside to offer solace as they anxiously await news of the family’s young son, who was lost at sea somewhere between France and Britain, AP reports.

Most are afraid to articulate their fear that 18-year old Twana Mamand may have drowned along with at least 26 others when their flimsy boat sank near the French coast last week. They had been bound for Britain with hopes of starting new lives.

Zana Mamand, 33, wiped away tears and vowed to take revenge against the family of the smuggler who arranged for his brother’s journey. “I know him, I know his family here, I have all their phone numbers,” he said.

In Ranya, a town of about 400,000 in Iraq’s Kurdish-run region, the plight of the migrants seems to be a topic that everyone knows something about.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse