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APM delivers moving eulogy for Malawi’s fallen soldiers: It is more painful to die for peace

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President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has described the six Malawi Defence Forces (MDF) soldiers who died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as “heroes of peace for Africa”.

Arrival of the fallen soldiers Arrival of the fallen soldiers

The Malawi leader, who is also the Comander In-chief of the Malawi Armed Forces said this at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on Wednesday when he led the nation into welcoming the bodies of the six soldiers.

Said President Mutharika: “It is more painful to die for peace than to die for war. They died for peace! May their souls rest in everlasting peace.”

The President further commended the MDF for their dedication to work everytime they are serving in foreign soils.

“Let me also commend the Malawi Defense Force for being an exemplary peace-keeping force wherever you go. From every part of the world, I receive reports of commendation that our Defense Force is known for discipline, loyalty and effectiveness.

“In life and death, you have raised high the flag of our country with patriotism, integrity and hardwork. That is what we are. Neither death nor the enemy will stop us from being what we are,” he said.

The soldiers were part of a United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) peacekeeping mission.

The soldiers were killed in DRC’s mineral-rich east, where rival militia groups control parts of the region more than a decade after the official end of a 1998-2003 war.

The slain soldiers are Sergeant Kambalame, 38, who was based at Malawi Armed Force College (Mafco) in Salima prior to his deployment to DRC; private Chauncy Chitete, 29, from Moyale Barracks in Mzuzu; private Benjamin Nsongela, 29, also from Moyale Barracks private Simplex Taferakaso, 31, from Changalume Barracks in Zomba.

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.

Nsongela, on the other hand, is from Chakhawo Village, T/A Tengani in Nsanje and is survived by a wife and three children while Taferakaso is from Kaumphawi Village, T/A Nsamala in Balaka.

Others who died in the peacekeeping mission were identified as Lieutenant Aubrey Kachemwe ,35, from Moyale Barracks in Mzuzu and Corporal Jonathan Kapichiri,36, from Parachute Battalion in Salima.

The peacekeepers were supporting an offensive by local forces against an Islamist group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), officials said.

Eastern DRC has been plagues 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.

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

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