A member of the Spanish Red Cross helps a child upon arrival at Los Cristianos Port, in Tenerife, Canary islands, Spain, 26 June 2021 | Photo: EPA/Ramon de la Rocha
A member of the Spanish Red Cross helps a child upon arrival at Los Cristianos Port, in Tenerife, Canary islands, Spain, 26 June 2021 | Photo: EPA/Ramon de la Rocha

The mother of Yamila, a five-year-old migrant girl who died late on June 29 aboard a helicopter of the Spanish army, is asking for help to travel to France from the Canary Islands to attend her daughter's funeral.

The mother of Yamila, a five-year-old migrant girl who died on June 29 after being rescued by a Spanish military helicopter, is asking for help to travel from France, where she lives, to the Canary Islands to attend her daughter's funeral.

Yamila died while she was being flown to a hospital after being rescued from a drifting boat. Part of her story was made public by a well-known human rights activist, Helena Maleno, first on Twitter and then in statements made to Spanish media.

According to the woman's statements on July 1, Yamila's mother -- who is currently pregnant -- and the girl's father, both Ivorian nationals, had been searching for news of their daughter from France. Both live there as undocumented migrants.

The parents first got in touch with Caminando Fronteras, the NGO for which Maleno works. They received the sad news on Thursday morning.

Yamila's death was confirmed by a relative who was travelling with her on the boat -- one of the 34 survivors of the umpteenth tragedy at sea.

Boat's journey lasted 12 days

On July 1, the undersecretary for migration of the Spanish government, Jesús Javier Perea, said during a commission meeting in Parliament that Madrid was in contact with Paris to enable Yamila's mother to travel to Spain to attend her daughter's funeral.

The body of a man was also found aboard the boat on which Yamila was travelling. The boat's journey is believed to have lasted 12 days (and not 17 as initially reported by rescuers, based on survivors' accounts). The child's body showed signs that she had suffered from hunger and thirst, Spain's Efe news agency reported.

 

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