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Malawian political party asks UN chief to intervene in probing plane crash



 The helicopter carrying the remains of Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima and other victims arrives at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, Malawi, June 11, 2024. [Xinhua]

Malawi's political party Alliance for Democracy has written to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres, asking the UN to intervene in investigations surrounding Monday's plane crash that killed Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima and eight others.

The party is one of the nine parties of the coalition that led Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera to power in the historic 2020 re-run election.

The letter, dated Thursday and signed by the party's president Enoch Chihana, said the political party takes the tragedy "as a matter of national concern for it involves a highly politically risky person," hence UN's intervention is needed.

The letter also called for the support of the Southern African Development Community and the African Union "in having a proper closure on the accident."

The party has listed three points for consideration, including declaration of the plane crash site as a crime scene, and "protection of the site from contamination through internationally delegated military personnel."

Malawian Minister of Information and Digitalization Moses Kunkuyu said Wednesday that the Malawi Defense Force and the Malawi Police Service would investigate the accident although bad weather was reported to be its cause.

Other than the vice president, the country's former First Lady Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, security officers, officials in the vice president's office and the crew also died in the plane crash.

President Chakwera has since declared 21 days of mourning and has called for calm and unity among all Malawians. 

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