On Tuesday, the United States announced it is withholding $350 million in assistance to Malawi after claims the government used force against protesters during demonstrations.
Last week, Malawi erupted into protests as a result of months of economic struggles. Demonstrators protested mismanagement of the economy and the country’s impending fuel shortage.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its president, Bingu wa Mutharika, is a former World Bank economist. While he has been widely credited with reducing hunger in the country, human rights activists have criticized his administration’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies. The president has sworn to “smoke out” his opponents and has told the Associated Press that the protest leaders are “thugs and sons of Satan.”
Almost half of Malawi’s annual budget comes from international donors.
- U.S. Freezes Grant to Malawi Over Handling of Protests (nytimes.com)
- Malawi rights leader in hiding after gov’t threats (sfgate.com)
- Malawi protesters threaten more demonstrations – The Associated Press (news.google.com)
- Top Malawi activists in hiding (bbc.co.uk)
- 10 Dead in Malawi Anti-Government Demonstrations (foxnews.com)