Malawi worried over UK envoy crisis

2011-04-30 14:34

Blantyre - Malawi's government says it didn't expect its decision to expel a British ambassador would lead to a diplomatic crisis with Britain.

Presidential spokesperson Heatherwick Ntaba said on Friday that Malawi expelled Ambassador Fergus Cochrane-Dyet because it had "lost confidence" in him and expected Britain to simply replace him.

Malawi asked Cochrane-Dyet to leave after he was quoted as expressing concern about human rights in the African country and calling President Bingu wa Mutharika intolerant of criticism.

Britain, impoverished Malawi's major donor, responded by announcing the expulsion of Malawi's ambassador and a review of bilateral relations.

At a farewell news conference on Friday, Cochrane-Dyet said after 30 years of one-party rule and 17 of democracy, Malawi could "slide into bad old habits".

Read more on:    malawi  |  southern africa

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