GBM explains soldier’s death

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MINISTER of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba has disclosed that the slain Zambian soldier on a peace-keeping mission in Sudan was killed in a robbery that took place at the gate of his residence.

Mr Mwamba said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Major Alfred Banda, who was in the company of his colleague, only identified as Major Bwalya, was ambushed at the gate while waiting for someone to open it.
“The incident happened on October 11 around 18:30 hours when the two officers had returned from duty. Men armed with pistols and knives opened the doors [of the car], stabbed Major Banda and sped off with a UN vehicle,” he said.
The minister described the incident as a criminal act.
Mr Mwamba said Major Banda’s body will be flown to Zambia this week.
He said a comprehensive report would soon be issued through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Banda was serving as a military observer of the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in El Fasher, North Darfur.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the killing of Major Banda and called on the Government of Sudan to bring the perpetrators to justice.
A message from Mr Ban’s office stated that the UN Secretary General is deeply saddened at the death of a Zambian soldier.
“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest sympathies to the families of the fallen peace-keeper, the Government of Zambia and to all UNAMID personnel,” the statement reads in part.

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