Malawi protesters threaten more demonstrations

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2011 1:43 PM
Malawi protesters threaten more demonstrations

Malawian activists who helped organize last week's protests threatened Monday to hold more demonstrations unless the president addresses their grievances.

Protest organizer Rafiq Hajat said President Bingu wa Mutharika has until August 16 to resolve persistent fuel and foreign exchange shortages. Hajat says otherwise protests will begin the next day.

A petition presented to the government demands an audit on Mutharika's finances as well as those of Cabinet ministers. It also asks that state media not be used to threaten those with dissenting views.

Officials said Monday that the death toll in last week's protests had risen by one, to 19, in the protests that turned violent.

While the military has withdrawn from major cities, police remained on the streets Monday when Mutharika visited shops and businesses that were attacked and looted during the unrest.

"Those who did this are thugs and sons of Satan," Mutharika said, echoing earlier statements.

He reiterated that he would "smoke out" the perpetrators of the violence.

Mutharika on Sunday reshuffled the country's military leadership after anti-government protests in three major cities.