Malawi seeks international help after plane carrying Vice President goes missing

by IANS |

Lilongwe, June 11 (IANS) Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has appealed to the international community for help in the search and rescue efforts after the plane with Vice President Saulos Chilima on board went missing.


On Monday evening, in a televised address to the nation, Chakwera said that he has sought assistance from neighbouring countries and other countries, including the United States, Britain, Norway and Israel.


He said that the international community has committed to supporting the country's security agencies with high-tech search and rescue technology until the plane is found, reports Xinhua news agency.


Meanwhile, Chakwera said he has ordered continued search and rescue operations as the country awaits international support.


The Malawi Defense Force plane failed to land at its intended destination at Mzuzu Airport in northern Malawi due to adverse weather conditions, and the pilot was advised to return to Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe before the aircraft went off the radar around 10 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) Monday, according to Chakwera.


The president appealed to all Malawians to pray for the lives of those on board and their families, saying that he is "holding on to every fibre of hope that there could be survivors."


The search and rescue operation is concentrated in the country's man-made forest, Chikangawa, on the outskirts of Mzuzu City. According to the president, this is where the plane's tracking has indicated its location.


Meanwhile, Chakwera has directed the Malawi Defense Force to keep the public informed of the ongoing developments as the operation continues.


The vice president was travelling to a funeral of the country's former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara, who was found dead in a room at a lodge in Lilongwe on Friday.

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