A smattering of U.N. peacekeepers joined a surviving contingent of the Malawian army and a few wily locals in burning shrubland and broadleafs around Blantyre.
Orders were shouted over the despondent cries of the wounded and dying. Exhaustion and injuries had slowed the retreat. Ammunition and grenades were hastily counted and recounted.
Theological differences evaporated as strangers joined in prayer. A few tearful souls bid farewell to loved ones. Others expressed hesitant hope in a reunion after this final confrontation.
“This stops here!” a man shouted from the smoldering landscape.
A defiant roar resonated from the ruins of the city.