Malawi Soldier dies under UN mission in DRC

A Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Warrant Officer Class One (WOI) Yohane Mwalera Dick has died under the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) sanctioned by the United Nations.

Serving as a motor vehicle mechanic WOI Mwalera died in the line of duty when he was recovering a UN military vehicle at 0400hrs on 14t May 2014.

A winch notch, said a statemenet seen by Nyasa Times signed by the public information officer, Lt. Col. Francis Kakhuta-Banda, fell and hit him on the head, sustaining a deep cut and bleeding profusely to death.

The fallen solider has been described as “committed and professional.”

“The Malawi Defence Force has lost a courageous, hardworking, disciplined, energetic and enthusiastic soldier who was passionate about his work and was always ready to take on new challenges.

“We greatly mourn the death of this brave soldier and his family has been informed accordingly,” reads the statement issued on Friday 16th May.

Soldiers at the barracks described the fallen officer as “committed and professional”.

Malawi troops are part of the larger UN formation under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries including South Africa and Tanzania deployed to flush out rebel groups terrorizing civilians in the eastern DRC.

So far reports indicate that Malawian soldiers are the most feared and have helped kill and capture more rebels than South Africa and Tanzania as their fighting effectiveness is above par.

WOI Mwalera hails from Kalitsiro Village, T/A Njolomole in Ntcheu District and will be laid to rest at Chilinde Cemetery in the capital city, Lilongwe.

He was born on 5th November 1966 and joined the army in October 1990.

Survived by a wife and six children, WOI Mwalera was stationed at the 1st Malawi Rifles (1MR), MDF Headquarters, Kamuzu Barracks.

Last year another  Malawian soldier  Lt. Col. Martin Tayeni Mandere died on a military observer (MILOBS) mission in DRC.

Several peace keepers from Malawi have died since the peaceful southern African country started deploying troops to war torn countries across the globe.

Years back a Major Sidon Banda was killed by cannibal rebels and was eaten alongside a colleague from Latin America during their peace observer mission in the DRC.

The late Maj. Banda, who was awarded a posthumous medal by the United Nations (UN), is the only Malawian soldier known to have been killed during such service.

Another soldier, a Captain Humphreys Theu died of malaria in the same country, among others.

Malawi troops are in DRC on UN peace keeping mission  after M23 rebels have been fighting Congolese government troops in North Kivu province for the last six months.

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