New York: On 24 May 2019, Private Chancy Chitete of Malawi was posthumously awarded the “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage” by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, at a ceremony marking the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers in New York.
During his speech at the “Diagne Medal” award ceremony, the Secretary-General mentioned that eight other peacekeepers had been nominated for the award which “showed the extraordinary courage and commitment of our peacekeepers.” All eight were from Africa. Two of them hailed from Malawi and served with Private Chitete in the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
In late May, the Secretary-General sent letters to Malawian officers Captain Wales Aidini and Lieutenant Zimveka Chatsika in which he commended their “exemplary courage” and, on behalf of the United Nations, offered his sincere gratitude. “Your actions reflect the finest tradition of United Nations peacekeeping,” wrote the Secretary-General in his letters of commendation.
Captain Aidini was hailed by the Secretary-General for the role he played during a MONUSCO military operation conducted in Eastern DRC on 14 November 2018: “As the Second-in-Command, you showed the utmost professionalism by taking over command and with exceptional leadership and inspired the troops to fight on and repel the enemy attack. Your successful intervention contributed significantly in preventing further loss of life. You demonstrated exceptional bravery beyond the call of duty.”
Speaking of Lieutenant Zimveka Chatsika, who was involved in the same operation in Eastern DRC, the Secretary-General said: “As the Medical Officer, you showed the utmost professionalism by treating casualties during heavy and sustained enemy fire. Your successful intervention contributed significantly in preventing further loss of life. You demonstrated exceptional bravery within the call of duty.”
Peacekeepers from Burkina Faso, Chad and the Republic of South Africa were also nominated for the Diagne Medal and likewise received letters from the Secretary-General.
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UN Department of Global Communications