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MDF issues warning to rumour mongers

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By Macdonald Thom:

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has said it would track down people who have been spreading rumours that more of its soldiers have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a statement released on Monday, MDF spokesperson Paul Chiphwanya says such reports, which are on social media, are not true and have neither been released by the MDF nor the United Nations.

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“The MDF, therefore, warns those that fabricated the information to desist from doing so as their action had a major impact on the affected families, the MDF and the entire nation. The MDF will do everything possible to identify the perpetrators and, once caught, the long arm of the law will take its course,” the statement reads in part.

Social media were awash with speculation four soldiers who went missing in the DRC were found dead and burnt and that their identities were confirmed by DNA tests.

MDF has highlighted that the return of Corporal George Salimu to Malawi Battalion Operating Base at Kasinga on Saturday dispels such social media reports.

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“The MDF urges the general public to remain calm as the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have employed all necessary steps to establish the whereabouts of the remaining three gallant men. The MDF will continue updating the general public on any progress made,” the statement reads.

Two weeks ago, six soldiers were killed when the MDF, together with their South African and Tanzanian counterparts, under the Force Intervention Brigade exchanged fire with a rebel group, The Allied Defence Force.

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