One of the four Malawian soldiers who were missing following the recent fight in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Corporal George Salimu, has returned to base.
A statement issued by the Malawi Government says Corporal Salimu is being treated at a hospital having survived harsh conditions in congolese rainforests following an ambush by the rebels.
Deputy Minister of Defence Amos Mailosi told Parliament this week that the four went missing on 13th November after an exchange of gunfire with rebels.
The ambush cost the lives of six Malawian Soldiers, namely: Sergeant Steven Kambalame aged 38, Private Chauncy Chitete aged 29, Private Benjamin Nsongela aged 29, Private Simplex Taferakaso, Lieutenant Aubrey Kachemwe aged 35 and Corporal Jonathan Kapichira aged 36.
Their bodies arrived in Malawi on Wednesday and a military ceremony was also held on the same day at Kamuzu International Airport. It was presided over by President Peter Mutharika.
Soldiers still missing are Staff Sergeant Chancy Mwakawenga, Sergeant Boniface Noah and Lance Corporal Gift Nkhoma.
The Malawi Defence Force soldiers are part of a United Nations Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) peacekeeping mission fighting the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Northern Kivu.
The Secretary General of United Nations Antonio Guterres has condemned the killing of Malawian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families of the killed peacekeepers and the Governments and people of the Republic of Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania,” reads the statement.
The UN SG has since wished a prompt recovery to the wounded and has conveyed his strong support to the Malawian and Tanzanian contingents, which continue to operate in an exceptionally difficult environment to protect local populations against the attacks of the ADF and other armed groups.
The Secretary-General has also called on all armed groups to stop their destabilizing activities, which continue to add to the suffering of the population and complicate the response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak.