Two Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers who went missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a fierce battle with rebels but were later found have on Tuesday been promoted.
President Peter Mutharika, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces , promoted corporal George Salim to staff sergeant and lance corporal Gift Tatani Nkhoma to the rank of sergeant when he met MDF generals and the soldiers at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
On November 12, 2018, the MDF were engaged in a peacekeeping operation in the DRC when Malawi lost six soldiers.
It was in the same operation that five Malawi soldiers went missing in action, three of them immediately showed up and the two who have just been promoted showed up after weeks.
Mutharika described the two as symbols of courage, peace and heroism.
“I am proud that we have patriotic military that is ready to defend peace in this country and elsewhere. This patriotic defense for peace is seen everywhere,” said the president.
He said MDF has performed exceptionally well in peacekeeping wherever they have been, saying they have proven to be professional, dedicated and effective.
MDF Commander General Vincent Nundwe informed President Mutharika that the Malawi troops are doing much in the DRC, citing the case in point of the late Chance Chitete who sowed bravely by putting his life on the line to save a Tanzania soldier and was given a top UN Peace Award posthumously.
The promoted soldiers said Malawian military officers are hroic peacekepers partly because of the comprehensive training and leadership at MDF.