US Ambassador retired Colonel Jeanine Jackson has hailed the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) for its peacekeeping role in Africa.
Jackson made the commendation on Friday when she inspected a 800-strong battalion of Malawian troops to be deployed to Cote dâ€™ Ivoire later this month.
The battalion underwent an eight-week training in peacekeeping operation sponsored by the United States (US) State Department through the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (Acota) programme. This will be the third deployment of Malawian peacekeepers to Cote dâ€™ Ivoire.
Jackson said MDF is recognised worldwide for its peace supporting operations in Africa.
â€œThe Acota programme will be a valuable resource for the Malawi Defence Force as it increases its contributions to African peacekeeping missions. Partnering with MDF to train peacekeepers is tangible evidence of our hope and intention to help make Africa a more independent continent-to create an environment where Africans will be able to work to solve Africaâ€™s problems,â€ said Jackson.
She thanked Army Commander General Henry Odillo for the role MDF played in the peaceful transition in the country following the passing on of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.
â€œThousands of Americans are now more aware of the historic and peaceful transition that occurred here and of the progress that has been made. Americans learned that the MDF is a professional entity and a very effective part of ensuring the security of this nation while also contributing as peacekeepers in Africa,â€ she said.
MDF deputy commander Lieutenant General Clement Kafuwa said Malawi is committed to maintaining peace in Africa.
â€œThe responsibility of maintaining peace worldwide rests with every nation and such being the case, it is not surprising that Malawi has deployed troops to Cote dâ€™Ivoire, as it is one of its obligations for being a member of United Nations and African Union,â€ said Kafuwa.
He thanked the US Government for the Acota training, saying it prepares soldiers for challenges in peacekeeping operations.