Louisa Akavi: 5 Quick Details You Must Know


Louisa Akavi

Photograph by Ross Land/Getty Pictures)

Purple Cross nurse Louisa Akavi was kidnapped by ISIS in 2013. Studies say she continues to be alive.

The Worldwide Committee of the Purple Cross (ICRC) and the Authorities of New Zealand are hopeful {that a} nurse kidnapped by ISIS in Syria in 2013 could also be alive. The ICRC revealed for the primary time on Sunday that they imagine kidnapped nurse Louisa Akavi is alive in Syria. The ICRC says it felt that with ISIS collapsing “the time was proper,” to debate Akavi’s doable whereabouts the place the New Zealand authorities believes it might put her in better hazard.“Our desire, after all, is that the case not be within the public area,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned. Akavi is the longest-held hostage in ICRC’s historical past.

Right here’s what that you must find out about Louisa Akavi and her life-saving work in Iraq.

1. Louisa Akavi Is a Midwife Who’s Beforehand Labored in Fight Zones

Akavi,62, is New Zealander who attended nursing faculty in Wellington and underwent midwifery coaching in Scotland. After working within the nursing subject for a number of years, Akavi joined the New Zealand Purple Cross and was typically deployed to high-conflict places similar to Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Chechnya. In 1996 whereas in Chechnya, Akavi survived an assault which killed six volunteer hospital staff, together with her shut pal, Sheryl Thayer. She was awarded nursing’s highest award, the Florence Nightingale medal in 1999. “Everyone knows the dangers after we take these assignments,” she mentioned in 1997.

2. Louisa Was Kidnapped With six Colleagues in 2013

Louisa Akavi was kidnapped October 13, 2013, whereas touring again to Damascus after delivering medical provides. Simply outdoors of Saraqeb in Idlib province, armed males reportedly fired into the automobiles, stopped the convoy and took seven hostages, together with Akavi. 4 have been launched the next day however Akavi and drivers Alaa Rajab and Nabil Bakdounes have been stored as prisoners.

Akavi shaped an in depth relationship together with her cellmate Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian support employee from the USA, after the pair have been housed collectively in Raqqa, Syria. Mueller cared for Akavi when she turned severely in poor health and wanted assist writing a “proof of life” letter when ISIS tried to barter a ransom. “It appears like they protected one another to me. Stored one another robust. It appears like Louisa was a really robust lady. I feel they have been good for one another,” Marsha Mueller informed New Zealand information web site Stuff. Mueller and Akavi have been finally break up up – Mueller was despatched off to turn into the property of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi whereas Akavi was compelled to work in an ISIS-controlled hospital. Mueller was reportedly killed in a February 2015 airstrike.

3. Akavi Has Been Known as “The Secret Hostage”

The chance that Akavi continues to be alive has been a intently guarded secret since her 2013 abduction for 2 causes. There was worry she is likely to be executed if her nationality was revealed and ransom calls for weren’t met.

Whereas a number of European international locations buckled and paid for the discharge of their residents, New Zealand and the ICRC have a strict coverage in opposition to acquiescing to terrorist calls for. Officers additionally feared that info launched about Akavi may battle with any doable story she had given her captors.

4. Akavi Has Been Noticed A number of Instances

The ICRC has been making weekly visits to camps in northern Syria, exhibiting Akavi’s photograph to officers and refugees who’ve fled ISIS-controlled areas.

Not less than two folks declare to have seen Akavi at a medical clinic in Sousa, a village in one of many final remaining ISIS strongholds. Different stories acquired by the ICRC have given her colleague’s a purpose for hope. She’s allegedly been sighted in Abu Kamal in 2016, Raqqa in 2017 and Mayadeen in 2018. The most recent intelligence stories have positioned her close to the Syria-Iraq border.

5. Missions to Rescue Akavi and Different Hostages Have Been Tried

In 2014, U.S. Delta Forces tried an unsuccessful mission to rescue hostages captured by ISIS militants. Throughout her early imprisonment, it’s believed Akavi was housed close to journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British support employee David Haines, all of whom have been publicly executed.

It’s simply been revealed that New Zealand has been utilizing a non-combat particular operations staff to offer search and rescue operations on behalf of Akavi and every other remaining hostages. In line with an announcement by New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, “This non-combat staff was particularly centered on finding Louisa and figuring out alternatives to get better her.”

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