The United States (US) government says the determination by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite intense fighting demonstrates the country’s strong leadership in the region.
US Ambassador Jannine Jackson said this in a press statement made available to The Nation on Tuesday by the US Embassy.
She said: “The UN Intervention Brigade that Malawi is joining with its Sadc [Southern African Development Community] partners from South Africa and Tanzania is not a traditional peacekeeping force. It is a force that will face rebel groups that are unleashing instability not just in the Eastern Congo but across the Great Lakes region. This is a dangerous mission.”
Jackson said what is impressive is that although Malawi faces its own challenges at home, this did not in any way make government shy away from supporting peace efforts in DRC.
She said her government is proud to support the MDF, while complementing the training support provided by the British government
In related development, last week Thursday, the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS), a research centre affiliated to the US Department of Defence, co-hosted a symposium on ‘National Security Strategy’ in partnership with the US Embassy at Sunbird Capital where Jackson and MDF Commander General Henry Odillo were present.
The symposium attracted 60 security sector experts, including officials from the US and Malawi, members of the Malawi National Assembly, academics and civil society organisations to discuss national security strategy and the role the legislative branch plays in its implementation.
The programme was designed to support Malawi’s ongoing development of a national security strategy (NSS) by a diverse working group.