• Parents grateful to RDF
GOMA/GISENYI – Parents of a now five-day old baby boy rescued from the jungles of Masisi in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have extended gratitude towards the Rwandan and DRC soldiers for rescuing their baby.
The infant’s parents are former FDLR Staff Sgt Jean Damascene Mbanabo, alias Muganga Gicumba and his wife Florida Nyiramana.
The baby was born in the middle of the jungle Monday night, as the couple fled from the ongoing joint operation by Rwanda and DRC forces.
The fighting that the couple and other militias fled from took place at Mbeshembeshe in Masisi, some 70 kilometres North West of Goma town.
“I was in so much difficulty as I had just given birth and it was late at night around two o’clock, I had nothing to eat or drink, not even porridge and, the baby had to breastfeed.”
Nyiramana, eyes dripping with ceaseless tears of joy, revealed her ordeal when The New Times finally caught up with her in a Gisenyi hospital maternity ward early Thursday.
“I am crying, but you know, I am really happy. What they (the Army) did for us was like a miracle,” she said, requesting to meet the Rwandan army officer who arranged transport for her and her infant to the hospital.
She explained that her group “luckily” came into contact with soldiers of the Rwanda-DRC military offensive the morning after her baby’s birth and a military helicopter brought them to Goma on Tuesday.
Thereafter, Rwandan officers transported her to Gisenyi the next day.
In Gisenyi, Nyiramana who claims to have originally come from Gikongoro said she had received “very good” medical care and felt well enough to rejoin her husband.
Speaking to her husband in Goma earlier Wednesday morning, he too appreciated the military’s assistance underlining that their (FDLR) rebellion was over.
The FDLR are elements largely composed of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The joint DRC- Rwanda operation dubbed “Umoja Wetu” (Our unity), is aimed at routing them out of the Congolese jungles which have been their den for the last 15 years.
“People have seen where the truth is and are coming out of the bush,” 42 year old Mbanabo said during the interview.
I was in the former government’s army. The past fourteen to fifteen years we have spent fighting yielded nothing, we only lost our people – children, wives and soldiers and all for no good reason really.” He underlined that they surrendered willingly to the joint forces and subsequently evacuated to safety.