Army forces have been deployed onto the streets of Malawi to quell anti-government demonstrations that have already claimed the lives of at least ten people.
Two of the deaths occurred when security forces shot at suspected looters. More than two-hundred people have been arrested.
Bingu wa Mutharika, the President of the small landlocked East African nation, has warned he will use any measure I can think of to squash the demonstrations.
During a speech to the nation, Mutharika also said protesters were working for Satan.
Mutharika told the protesters: I am asking each one of you, wherever you are, to go back to your homes and stop looting. By allowing these people to demonstrate violently, have we solved our problems? Do we have fuel or [foreign exchange]? Is this democracy? Not so.
Military forces, along with contingents of riot police, are now patrolling the streets of Lilongwe, the largest city, Blantyre, and Mzuzu in the north.
Protesters are angered over high food and fuel prices and blame the president for pushing the country into its worst economic crisis since independence in 1964.
A group of activists who organized the protests said Malawi is facing a catastrophe, with shortages of shortages of fuel, electricity and foreign currency.
There is cause to believe that the current shortages are the worst in all our 47 years [since independence], they said in a statement said.
They also blame the government for failing the public and worry the country is slipping into becoming an autocratic kleptocracy.
Malawi is among the world’s poorest nations, with 75 percent of the population living on less than $1 per day, according to reports.
Making things worse, the government approved an austerity budget that will increase taxes. Moreover, Britain has cut off aid to the country because the Malawi has handled its economy very poorly.
The UK is also likely punishing Malawi after its envoy Fergus Cochrane-Dyet was expelled in April after accusing Mutharika of aspiring to become a dictator.