Malawi Govt. Surprised US Agency Withholding Aid Package

Posted July 28th, 2011 at 4:05 am (UTC-5)
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Malawi's government says its surprised the United States has withheld a $350 million aid package because of deadly clashes between police and protesters last week.

The Millenium Challenge Corporation , a U.S. government agency that assists developing countries, says it will review whether to suspend or terminate aid to Malawi after 18 people died during confrontations in three cities.

A spokesman for President Bingu wa Mutharika says the MCC announced its decision to withhold funding on Tuesday before hearing the facts from the scene.

Heatherwick Ntaba told VOA the people killed last Wednesday and Thursday were looters who were not part of the “peaceful” demonstrations.

The demonstrators were protesting fuel shortages, rising prices and what they say are eroding civil liberties.