Four Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers have been killed while 10 others were injured in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where they were part of a United Nations Force Intervention Brigade peacekeeping mission.
The soldiers killed are Steven Kambalame (38) from Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) in Salima, Chauncy Chitete (29) and Benjamin Nsongela (29) from Moyale Barracks in Mzuzu and Simplex Taferakoso (31) from Changalume Barracks in Zomba were killed after a rebel ambush of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group blamed for a series of attacks.
The attack took place on Wednesday and their families have been informed, according to MDF public information officer Paul Chiphwanya.
Chiphwanya said the fallen soldiers would be repatriated home for burial in due course as the UN was currently finalising processes undertaken when such incidents happen.
“MDF has lost courageous, hard working and disciplined soldiers who were always ready to serve and ensure that peace prevails both within and outside the country,” said Chiphwanya in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.
The statement added: “MDF greatly mourns the deaths of these brave soldiers. We keep the families in our prayers during this difficult time.”
A UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday another UN peacekeeper is missing from the fighting near the city of Beni in North Kivu.
“Initial reports indicate that ten additional peacekeepers were wounded, and another one is missing,” said Dujarric, adding that several Congolese soldiers were also killed or wounded during the operations.
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.
Kambalame came from Maya Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kachere in Dedza and is survived by a wife and two children while Chitete was from Peter Village, T/A Mwenemusiku in Chitipa. He is survived by a wife and three children.
Ntongela, on the other hand, is from Chakhawo Village, T/A Tengani in Nasanje and is survived by a wife and three children while Taferakaso is from Kaumphawi Village, T/A Nsamala in Balaka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :