Sophie Wilmès on the child repatriated without his mother from Syria to Belgium: “A new start”

The young child was able to find his father. The mother had fled to Syria six years ago.

UA 9-year-old boy, born in Belgium, was repatriated this Friday from Syria, after his mother, detained by Kurdish forces at Roj camp, let her eldest son go so that he could find his father. This mother is the first Belgian to agree to separate from one of her children.

The story of this family suddenly changed on Tuesday, December 8, when visiting Roj camp, located in the far north-east of Syria, the director of Child Focus Heidi De Pauw met this mother of 3 children, whose eldest was born in Brussels in 2011.

“I want him to go back to Belgium, to his father. It is very hard for me, but I know that it is for the good of my son ”, declared the mother, captured after the fall of Baghouz in March 2019, last reduced of the“ caliphate ”of Daesh.

The young boy has his dad who lives in Belgium. A 29-year-old man whose only child was taken from him six years ago, when his ex-partner left with their son for Syria, without his consent. When the 9-year-old boy returns to Belgium this Friday, the child must be taken care of by social services. It is up to a juvenile judge to decide who will have custody later.

This unique and delicate repatriation file was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès, with several other actors, including Child Focus. The latter reacted briefly: “The child is in good health, despite the circumstances and is now out of danger. I would like to thank all my colleagues from the government, the Belgian services as well as the local authorities in North-East Syria and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq who made this operation possible. It is a relief because this return to our country is synonymous with a new beginning for this young boy. “

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