UN and UK condemn use of force during Malawi protests

The United Nations and the United Kingdom have condemned the use of force during anti-government...

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The United Nations and the United Kingdom have condemned the use of force during anti-government demonstrations in Malawi.

The US Embassy in Pretoria has voiced its opposition to the ban imposed on all private radio stations reporting on the demonstrations and the UK has said it is extremely worried about the situation.

Up to 18 people were killed in demonstrations this week.

US Embassy spokesperson Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau said the government's radio ban undermines democracy and the rule of law in Malawi.

"This has been consistent with our position on protests across Africa. We strongly condemn the use of force by the Malawian authorities to prevent these peaceful demonstrations," she said.

The South African government has added its voice.

International Relations Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said, "We would call for strength and condemn violence from any side and also encourage the parties in that country to begin the process of dialogue, because there must be a process to find a political solution."

Meanwhile, the situation seems to be returning to normal in Lilongwe.

Malawian journalists told Eyewitness News they work under threats from supporters of the ruling party.

An independent radio station has been forced to close its doors and has already had vehicles torched.

During the protests, the government stopped live broadcasts of the unrest and said it incited violence.

Police beat and detained several journalists.

Demonstration leaders said it is up to President Bingu wa Mutharika to respond to their demands.