Malawi towns quiet; anti-gov't protests called off

AP News
Posted: Aug 17, 2011 7:17 AM
Malawi towns quiet; anti-gov't protests called off

Security forces are patrolling empty streets in Malawi's main cities and towns after organizers called off planned anti-government protests.

Organizers canceled plans to resume anti-government protests on Wednesday after businessmen close to the governing party obtained a court injunction and because of U.N. mediation efforts. Last month, at least 19 people were killed by police when demonstrations degenerated into looting.

Organizers now say protests will be held Sept. 17 unless the government addresses economic problems and ends public threats against those with dissenting views.

Wednesday morning, Blantyre and other places that had seen violence in July were quiet. Armed police officers are stationed outside shops, service stations and government buildings. An occasional army truck sped by.