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Aimee's story: escaping years of persecution

Aimee is reunited with her familyIn a forest pit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Aimee and her baby son were held captive with 25 others. After seven days, 13 were taken to be shot - with Aimee last in the line. With little Daniel in her arms, she saw the terrified men and women killed one by one.

But when it came to her turn, the soldiers lowered their guns.

Aimee said: "I was crying. I thought I was going to die with my child. Then I heard them argue about what they would do with my child. For some reason they changed their minds. I don't know why, only that I am alive today."

Escape to safety

After years of persecution and detention, Aimee Ntabarusha Mungu escaped from the Congo, fled to the UK and settled in Glasgow.

She contacted the local Red Cross branch and used their orientation service to help her adjust to life in Scotland. She also regained contact with her family, who she had left behind in the Congo, through Red Cross international family tracing.

Aimee said: "It was so hard to be here without them. A friend looked after them but they were always in danger as the government was after me. I wanted them here, safe with me."

Family reunited

After a year, the Scottish Refugee Council advocated on the family's behalf to secure their visas and travel to the UK.

Finally in March this year, the Red Cross reunited Aimee with her children - Daniel, now eight, Rodrigue,15, and 16-year-old Nelly – and also her brother Nick,17, sister Arlette,18, and 12-year-old nephew Aristottle.

Aimee said: "When I saw them at the airport it was like being transported to a fantasy world.

"I dropped my bag and threw my arms around them. Even then I couldn't believe it. To see them again was the best thing that has ever happened."

Aimee now works as a volunteer for the Red Cross. She said: "I know how much I was helped and want to give something back. I am grateful to Scotland for giving me a home. I hope my family make a life here.

"I was afraid all the time before I came here but now I feel safe - at last."

This edited article is reprinted courtesy of the Daily Record. Read the full story

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