16 November 2018

Malawi: Mutharika 'Shocked' By Killings of Malawian Soldiers in DR Congo

Photo: The Citizen
14 bodies of Tanzanian peacekeeper who were killed in the DR Congo arrived at Terminal 1 of the Julius Nyerere International Airport (file photo).

Malawian President Peter Mutharika said on Friday he was shocked about the loss of six Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) while in the course of duty on November 14 2018.

The soldiers were participating in a peacekeeping operation in the conflict-torn eastern region of the country.

Mutharika, who is also Commander-In-Chief of MDF, said in a statement issued by his spokesman Mgeme Klailani that he regrets the loss of "these brave, disciplined and courageous soldiers who have paid the ultimate human price in the course of facilitating peace for our brothers and sisters in the DRC under a United Nations (UN) Peace Support Operation."

He has offered condolences to the families of the courageous soldiers "who have died in battle and fallen in their uniforms."

Said Mutharika: " Their lives have not been lost in vain."

The Malawi leader is urging the remaining members of the current Malawi Defence Force mission in the DRC to continue to be strong and soldier on with their mission to the end in honour of their departed friends, Malawi and humanity at large.

Mutharika assures the mission of his ultimate support in these trying times and wishes those injured a quick recovery.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the killing in a statement and called on armed groups to disarm immediately. Guterres said it was the worst attack on UN peacekeepers in recent history and amounted to a "war crime".

"I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night's attack. There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else," he said in quotes reported by BBC.

Meanwhile, the Commander-In-Chief, Malawi Defence Force Commanders, Generals and the United Nations are working on logistics to bring home bodies of the brave soldiers so that they can be accorded the respect they deserve.

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