4-year-old migrant reunited with mother after five months

Dima Suchin
By Dima Suchin
March 27, 2017World News

A 4-year-old migrant girl from North Africa rescued from a rickety boat on the Mediterranean five months ago was finally reunited with mother on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Monday, March 27.

Zanabou, from Ivory Coast, had fled to Tunisia with her 4-year-old daughter Oumah to save her from genital mutilation, a traditional practice in the region.

She left her daughter with a friend and went back to Ivory Coast to pack for the sea crossing, only to find upon her return to Tunisia that her friend had boarded a boat with her daughter and departed.

Oumah was rescued from a leaky boat by the coast guard and sent to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where by chance she saw a photo of her mother on the phone of the reception center’s director.

Zanabou was located and brought to Lampedusa, where the pair were reunited.

More than 21,000 migrants, including some 2,000 unaccompanied minors, have arrived in Italy so far this year, 50 percent more than last year at this time.

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