Abducted Congo Baby, Mum Reunited in Uganda After 16 Months

A baby abducted from the North Kivu province in DR Congo and its mother have been reunited in a Ugandan refugee camp after spending 16 months apart.

The associate community services officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for Kyangwali Settlement, Johansen Kasenene, said court asked them to carry out a DNA test, which confirmed that they were handing the baby over to its biological mother.

The two-year-old baby, Benita Nyirasafari, was abducted on July 17, 2013 by 28-year-old Noela Nzamukunda, who was eventually arrested in Uganda and sentenced to 10 years in jail by Hoima Chief Magistrate Jameson Karemani. Nzamukunda has so far served five months of her sentence.

The baby’s mother, Sifa Emerida, said she was working in the garden when her child disappeared from its uncle’s home in Rubare village, in North Kivu.

“It was at around 10am when I returned home,” she said. “I asked for her from colleagues but nobody could locate her. I ran several announcements on radio and later gave up.”

Emerida said her late husband’s family attacked her, believing that she had lost the baby out of negligence. However, she got her reprieve when information leaked back to them in DR Congo that Nzamukunda, who had stayed in a childless marriage for 10 years, had abducted the baby and was hiding it at Kyangwali Refugee Settlement in Hoima.

Gideon Ninshiima, a lawyer for Action Africa Help (AAH), one of the organisations in the settlement, said the case was brought to his attention when Nyirasafari was rescued from a pit latrine where it had been dumped after the convict’s husband rejected the baby his wife was claiming to be her own.

“After rescue, we worked with police and had Nzamukunda, who had been sighted with it, arrested. We started to trace for the parents until we got the mother,” he said.

According to Ninshiima, the convict revealed that she had had several abortions yet her husband wanted a kid. The pressure forced her to return to her village, informed them she was pregnant and then abducted the baby.

Source : The Observer


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