News story

Foreign Secretary concerned about situation in Malawi

Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged President Mutharika to allow legitimate democratic debate and to open dialogue with civil society organisations.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

In July protests took place across Malawi against the rising cost of living, the need for political and media freedom and the government’s lack of respect for human rights. A number of anti-government protestors died during the protests. Further protests are scheduled for next week.

Speaking today the Foreign Secretary said:

“I remain concerned about the situation in Malawi. I urge President Mutharika, the democratically elected head of Malawi’s Government, to allow legitimate democratic debate and to open a genuine dialogue with civil society organisations. This is essential to address the serious challenges the country faces.

“The UK does not take a partisan position in Malawian politics. I call on all parties to exercise restraint over the coming days. Civil society organisations should not let their movement be used for criminality or looting and the Government should ensure that the forces under its control allow peaceful demonstrations to go ahead freely and let the media report on them.

“Malawi’s grave economic crisis can only be tackled if the Government works with the international donor community. If this doesn’t happen, the economic and social progress made in recent years will be lost.”

Published 12 August 2011