4 Malawi soldiers ‘missing in action’ in DRC fighting Islamic militias: 8 battling for lives in hospital

Government has disclosed that four Malawi Defence Force  (MDF) soldiers part of UN peacekeepers  in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) supporting an offensive by local forces against an Islamist group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), are missing  while  six brave heroes who were killed have been buried in their respective homes.

Major Masozi Kayira second-in-command Malawi troops in DRC

Some bereaved family members mourn- Phot by Govati Nyirenda, Mana

Deputy Ministerof Defence Amos Mailosi broke the news in Parliament on Friday when he  read a ministerial statement detailing events surrounding the death of six MDF soldiers .

Mailosi said apart from the missing solders, eight others are in the hospital at Entebbe, Uganda following injuries they sustained during a clash with rebels in DRC.

He told the House that the  rebel group ADF is responsible for a series of attacks on civilians in recent months.

“The ADF has intesfied their operations of intimidation and terror,” Mailosi told Malawi Parliament.

The deputy minister informed the House that the six soldiers died in an operation known as Usalama South on November 14 aimed at clearing ADF bases.

He said: “The Malawi battalion was advancing towards Kasinga tactical operating base, an illegal armed group base and the ADF base was at a distance of approximately 6.8 kilometres. The troops advanced without much resistance up to Ididiwe, which was originally a base for Fardc, a government force there.

“The following day, on November 14 2018, the troops to the IAG position, however, before reaching the position they came under contact, exchanged fire and started breaking contact up to Ididiwe. ADF pursued our troops up to Ididiwe and there was heavy exchange of fire. It is at this point and position that we lost four soldiers and 10 were wounded.”

Said Mailosi: “ Two of the wounded soldiers  died on their way to hospital. Four soldiers are still missing in action.”

Mailosi has assured the House that govt will keep updating the nation on the status of those missing and  injured.

Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya requested members not to debate the statement as per Standing Orders to give respect to the departed soldiers.

Said Chiwaya: “I ask members that there shouldn’t be any debate on this matter so that the souls of the departed soldiers should rest in peace.”

House members  resolved not to debate on the statement.

The four soldiers missing in action are; Sergeant Chancy Mwakalenga, Sergeant Boniface Nowa, Corporal George Salim & Lance Corporal Gift Nkhoma.

The injured are; Sergeant Dan Chilanje, Corporal Malijani Selo, Lance Corporal Wesley Mautanga, Private Anthony Mwamadi, Private Moses Mdala, & Private Damson Nkhoma.

Meanwhile, Egypt has condoled with Malawi for the loss of six soldiers who died on a peacekeeping mission in DRC.

“I have received with great shock and deep sorrow the sad news of the heinous attack that occurred on November 15, in North Kivu during the joint operations carried out by the MONUSCO and the government forces,” said the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry in a statement.

“I would like on behalf of the Egyptian government and people to express heartfelt condolences to the people of Malawi and to the families and the loved ones of those brave Malawians who lost their lives for the noble cause of serving for peace and protecting civilians,” Shoukry said.

Egypt expressed condemnation for the heinous crimes against United Nations peacekeepers.

The six MDF fallen soldiers who were killed in the ambush were buried on Thursday.

MDF spokesperson Paul Chiphwanya said Corporal Jonathan Kapichira from Mphunda Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kaphuka and, Sergeant Steven Kambalame  of Maya Village TA Kachere both from Dedza, Private Chauncy Chitete from Peter Village  TA Mwenemisuku, Chitipa; Private Benjamin Songela from ChikhawoVillage, T/A Tengani, Nsanje  and Private Simplex Taferakaso from Kaumphawi Village TA Nsamala Balaka were buried at their respective home village.

Lieutenant Aubrey Kachemwe, who hailed from Mbendera Village, T/A Mkanda was buried at HHI cemetery in Blantyre.

Eastern DRC has been plagued by banditry and armed insurrections for more than two decades, since the fall of the military ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, but there has been a surge in violence in the past year.

Much of the unrest has been blamed on the ADF, which analysts say is trying to develop links with other jihadists in Africa and beyond

Malawi contribute to the longstanding 17,000-member peacekeeping force in violence-prone parts of the DRC.

Countries contributing troops to UN peacekeeping missions are well paid for sending their personnel – about  $1,410 (£1,017) per month per soldier.

In recent years, the ADF has tried to align itself with better-known extremist groups, adopting a flag resembling that of Isis and using language popularised by al-Qaida.

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kabila from chulu
Guest

The rebels are being funded by rwandans and the west.THIS Islamic mantra is being used so that the US soldiers should join the fray to mine precious coltan in DRC.

Kambewa Chisale
Guest

Please chonde pull out our Men in uniform based on DRC.. 1 Our Asilikali are not well equipped 2 They don’t get paid enough compared to the risk and their colleagues from other Countries. 3 Other soldiers from Uganda, Tanzania get more than ours 4 let’s make in clear that those who go to DRC are going to fight Rebels. 5 The rebels are now targeting them and Expect more Dead bodies. That war will only end with a political solution and when other countries stop funding the Rebels. If APM still insist to send our men to DRC then… Read more »

Colonel Mtaganda aka African Rambo
Guest
Colonel Mtaganda aka African Rambo

Kodi zikukhala ngati ma soldier a Malawi okha ndi amene akutikitidwa kumeneko bwanji bwino tu bwino moyo siti pinyolitsa ngati ti kusewera juga

Moya
Guest
Moya

Those are the job risk they signed up for guys don’t be alarmed, being a soldier its not just abt waking up and going jogging and eating beef, if u don’t want to die like that there are so many other jobs in Malawi including farming, so safe. So in the line of duty they died.brave soldiers they are. We salute them. We wish they made it home safe. However this is a war preventable if Africa was united and took care of its own problems without waiting for the west. We need to flush out problematic leaders or rebels… Read more »

Section 65
Guest
Section 65

A political solution to the fundamental causes of the conflict has to be considered. Otherwise, I see this conflict raging on and on in the next twenty years.

Ndendeuli
Guest
Ndendeuli

Intimidation and terror? Inu mukayesa nkhondo not chani ?

mtete
Guest
mtete

Sad, very sad indeed. Never knew our lads are engaging with Islamic militants.

Stupid
Guest
Stupid

Asilamu anthu awa amandidabwitsa chipembedzo chawo.. koma its ok alipo abwino ena…. komano 1000pounds is it well paid?

Kholowa
Guest
Kholowa

If George Chaponda is working in connection with the UN is he not selling our brave men into this catastrophe as he did with the agriculture ministry? ASakhwiwa ationjeza zedi a malawi work up 2019. These brave men suffers alot in the camp tima dollar tawonso amawasinthilatu mkumawatsa in a licL currency why only malawians komaso kubeledwa pompo?

Duduzane
Guest

In America a white man three months ego did kill people randomly, but because he is a Christian this guy is not a terrorist. Last weak as well another white an shot dead11 people in a America because he is not a Muslim is not a terrorist. And never called Christian terrorist. Alot is happening in israel, they kill parestinians but even the UN never utter any word to stop israelists for killing innocent people of Palestine. It confuses to extent that if a person is a Muslim and do something wrong he is called a terrorist while axhristian do… Read more »

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

They are Ugandan and are ISLAMIC TERRORISTS. We are not about to be sensitive to people that just killed our brothers. I hope these MUSLIM TERRORISTS are wiped out and go to hell where they belong.

Duduzane
Guest

Asilikali a ku malawi akugwilisidwa ntchito ku DRC dziko la malawi popanda chopindulapo. UN komanso maiko like south africa. Ruanda akumaba golide kumene kuja mkumalemera pomwe dziko la malawi kufela za eni.

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