Lt. Col. Michel Habimana, alias Edmond Ngarambe, the former FDLR Spokesman was captured by the joint FARDC-RDF forces at the frontline in Masisi, eastern DRC Tuesday night.
Contrary to his claim that he willingly surrendered to the joint forces, it has been established that he was captured at the battle field by FARDC-RDF joint forces along Masisi-Kibua-Gatoyi axis under the command of FARDC’s Col. Kahasha.
The uncompromising hard-liner was captured soon after FDLR’s Montana battalion that was protecting him was battered by the joint forces – a definitely heavy blow to FDLR.
He is the highest ranking FDLR officer to be captured so far and, was also one of the most vocal and virulent genocidal propagandists. Before his capture, he was overseeing FDLR network in the region and Europe where FDLR political leadership is based.
The captive shares the same genocidal ideology with the likes of Germany-based FDLR leader - Ignace Murwanashyaka and FDLR military wing’s Commander Maj. Gen. Silvestre Mudacumura.
Reliable sources reveal that Habimana has family connections to Murwanashyaka. He has served as FDLR special envoy to Belgium, Zimbabwe and Tanzania at various times and has, for a long time, been the mouthpiece of FDLR, in which role he has articulated some of the most extremist and hate statements.
He is on record declaring that he would never live in Rwanda as long as there is still any Tutsi population and was also one of the senior FDLR leaders responsible for indoctrinating young recruits with the Genocide ideology.
Born in now Huye district in Eastern Province, in May 1967, Habimana says he joined Ecole Superieur Millitaire (ESM), a military academy in 1989 after high school.
After their defeat by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in 1994, the officer who grew up in an extremist environment fled with the genocidal forces to the former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
During the AFDL campaign against late President Mobutu, he fled further with genocidal forces to Congo-Brazzaville from where he mobilized others to form ALIR II that would wage war against Rwanda from DRC and continue with their genocidal agenda.
“We started operations in 1998 when Mzee Kabila invited us to help him. By then, we were referred to as “special forces,” he disclosed Friday.
Before becoming FDLR Spokesman, he headed the military wing’s J5, charged with political affairs and public relations.