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Thursday, September 15, 2011

CONGOMA pulls out of UN led dialogue

Malawian Civil Society Organisations (CSO's)- an umbrella body of NGOs as coordinated by the Council for Non Governmental Organisations (CONGOMA) have pulled out of the UN facilitated dialogue that had previously halted the proposed August 17th vigil while talks were ongoing between the CSO's and government officials. CSO's were asking for specific matters to be dealt with during the talks that had been presented on July 20th. They had previous called for the nationwide August 17th vigil to protest Mutharika's rule. 

CSO leaders have been recently targeted by violet attacks including attacks on property. Some commentators have said that the CSO's were justified in pulling out of talks after they had previously sent a letter on September 2nd to UN representative, Richard Dictus, threatening withdrawal from the process after setting out the CSO members were being personally targeted due to what they termed President Mutharika's "war" threats.  Sample comments include:
I can arrest you if I wanted, but I believe in democracy. But I will deal with you and I am threatening you that I will arrest you this time around
The CSO's spokesperson, Billy Mayana of the Human Rights Consultative Committee said today that the planned September 21 protests would now go ahead, although I think there may currently be an injunction in place preventing any demonstrations on the grounds of a breach of democratic/civil rights being held...I'm not sure if that is still in place as there is so many injunctions and counter injunctions in place it is hard to keep track. The CCJP (Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace) an organisation we have been working with the last few weeks and who are a part of the organisation of the vigil have stated that they will wait for a statement on further action by CONGOMA before taking any action.

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