Malawi solder kills himself in DRC over guilty conscience
By Penelope Paliani-Kamanga
LILONGWE – A 26-year-old Malawi Defence Force soldier serving on a peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo committed suicide by shooting himself last week after feeling guilty of the atrocities he committed in the war-torn country.
In his suicide note seen by The Southern Times Sergeant Moses Ngwira, from Chirumba Garrison situated in the northern region of Malawi, stated that he was tired of killing and torturing innocent people.
In the note, written in Chichewa, one of Malawi’s local language, Ngwira thanked his parents for sending him to school and blamed himself for the choice of being a soldier which had been the root cause of destroying his life.
He further stated in the later that ever since he went to DRC, he has been killing and torturing innocent people. He also asked his wife to forgive him and take care of their child.
It is believed that Ngwira, who is alleged to have shot himself through the mouth, was scheduled to leave for one of the war-torn areas in the eastern DRC where rebels are ruthlessly killing people, hence was distressed about this mission where he was supposed to take the front role.
The soldier joined MDF in 2012 and was deployed to the DRC in May this year and was part of Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), which has a mandate to conduct offensive operations.
MDF public relations officer Lieutenant Paul Chiphwanya said Ngwira did not complain to anybody on the matter.
Ngwira who hailed from Matete village in the area of Traditional Authority Wansambo in Karonga is survived by a wife and one child.
Malawi is part of the three-nation FIB mandated by the UN to engage in direct fighting against the numerous armed groups — notably, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Ugandan Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF) and other smaller groups that have been destabilising eastern DRC for over 15 years.
Besides Malawi, other members of the FIB are South Africa and Tanzania.