The United Nations secretary-general says that differences in the southern Africa country of Malawi must be solved through peaceful means.
A U.N. statement said that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a phone conversation with Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika on Saturday expressed sadness over the deaths from clashes between demonstrators and police. It said that Ban urged that the human rights of those in jail be guaranteed.
Anti-government demonstrations this week killed at least 18 people. The violent response from security forces prompted international condemnation from the United States, European Union and former ruler Britain.
Mutharika accused opposition leaders of treason and blamed them for the deaths.
Britain had already suspended aid to Malawi, citing concerns about economic management and a crackdown on human rights.