Thursday, July 21, 2011

Malawi Unrest Sparked by Economic Crisis Results in 18 Deaths

Malawi pres. refuses to resign as 18 die

Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:1PM GMT

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has refused to resign after nationwide anti-government protests in the country left 18 people dead.

"I will continue to govern the country," Mutharika said on Thursday. "As mandated by the constitution, the authority to run government is in my hands and not any other person.”

"Stop the rioting and let's sit down to discuss," the 77-year-old president appealed to his nation in a 12-minute address on state radio.

"I have a responsibility, based on the powers vested in me by the constitution, to bring law and order," he stressed.

This is while 10 deaths were confirmed in the northern cities of Karonga and Mzuzu. The others died in the capital, Lilongwe, and the southern commercial hub of Blantyre, Reuters cited Malawian health ministry spokesman as saying.

"These figures are based on those casualties that are coming through to the hospitals. Some died in hospital while some were brought by police already dead," Henry Chimbali said.

A further 41 people were injured, six critically, he added.

The protesters were outraged by Mutharika's mismanagement of the economy and disregard of their democratic rights.

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