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Thursday, July 21, 2011

MALAWI REVOLT - Malawi riots erupt in Lilongwe and Mzuzu

Riots have broken out in cities in Malawi as opposition groups protest against President Bingu wa Mutharika's government.

At least one person has died in the northern city of Mzuzu and protesters are burning barricades and looting property in the capital.

The authorities have banned live broadcasts of the riots.

The trouble started after a court ruled on Tuesday the protests, called against the high cost of living, were illegal.

"We have more than 10 people in the hospital right now, some are in a serious condition," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The BBC's Joel Nkoma in Lilongwe says the situation is also tense there, where angry crowds have been shouting, "Let him [Mr Mutharika] go".

The demonstrations were called to protest against rising fuel prices, a shortage of foreign exchange reserves, alleged bad governance and poor international relations.

Last week, the UK cut direct aid to Malawi after a diplomatic spat with Mr Mutharika's government.

The UK accused Malawi of mishandling the economy and failing to uphold human rights.

The government recently passed an austerity budget, raising taxes to reduce dependence on aid.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated 75% of the population living on less than $1 (60p) a day.

Continue reading - BBC - Malawi riots erupt in Lilongwe and Mzuzu

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