Malawi demonstration leaders await response to memorandum

Malawi demonstration leaders have called for calm following days of violent clashes with...

Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika. Picture: Alexander Joe/AFP

Malawi demonstration leaders have called for calm following days of violent clashes with authorities.

State television reported that at least 18 people have been killed, while police said they have arrested more than 100 people for rioting and looting in the capital Lilongwe.

A demonstration leader spoke to Eyewitness News from an undisclosed safe house.

He has appealed to Malawians to stop the violence and to respect the rule of law.

The man said the purpose of the demonstration on 20 July was to hand over a memorandum to President Bingu wa Mutharika.

He said now that this has been done, the president must respond.

The president addressed the nation on state television on Thursday and soldiers were deployed to key cities.

They remain on the streets to control any flare-ups of demonstrations.