UK condemns violence in Malawi


… Tells politicians to prepare followers for court outcome

The United Kingdom has condemned acts of violence in Malawi and has urged political parties to prepare their followers for the outcome of the presidential elections case.

Mathews: visited Malawi last week

The Director for Africa from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Harriet Mathews, and the Director for Western and Southern Africa from the Department for International Development, Debbie Palmer, made the remarks when they visited Lilongwe from 6 to 8 November.

The two noted with concern the reports of violence in the country, especially violence against human rights defenders, the security services, political leaders, women and girls; and the tensions between regional, tribal and religious groupings.

“They condemned any form of violence and urged all allegations of violence and criminal acts to be investigated promptly and impartially,” said Benson Linje, Communications Officer British High Commission in Malawi.

The two directors also encouraged all political leaders to coordinate clear messaging to prepare their supporters for the outcome of the election court case by highlighting respect for the court process and outcomes, and calling for peace and unity in Malawi.

Mathews and Palmer also stressed the need for the elite to move beyond the politics of exclusion, tackle corruption and prioritise the interests of all Malawians.

Meanwhile, the UK has pledged to continue to work side by side with all stakeholders to support Malawi through this period of instability as well as on the longer-term challenges facing the country.

During their visit, Palmer and Mathews met with a broad range of stakeholders including senior government and security service representatives, opposition, civil society and business leaders, and human rights defenders.

Since the disputed May 21 elections, Malawi has faced a period of instability characterized by violent protests and attacks on rights activists.

Over the past weeks, there have been acts of violence against women as well as clashes between villages and religious groups.