Malawian students in Egypt have disputed claims made by deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Abel Kayembe that they are safe, saying the situation is scary and they are not being updated from the Malawi diplomatic offices.
Kayembe said on Monday that Malawians should not despair as their relations living in the now politically unstable Egypt are going to be safe,
But the students who spoke to Nyasa Times disputed the statement, saying they are returning home due the deteriorating security situation in Egypt and have expressed their reservations about continuing their studies there.
“Seriously may be its the diplomats who are safe but not us…See what the government has to say about its citizens in Egypt. What is safe about being chased out of the hostels for reasons that it is not safe anymore for students to be in the hostel?” the student Maggie Alibechawo Choonora Phiri complained.
The student expressed surprise “what is safe about hearing gunshots almost every night?” She wondered further “what is safe about risking your life when you put your feet on the street?”
She remained puzzled “what is safe about seeing soldiers everywhere and you know the soldiers will be into fights with protesters anytime?”
“What is safe about being in a shop and you are not sure whether the seller is a protester and is holding some weapons?” she questioned.
“Does this make sense for the government to say we are safe with all they can see from media that Egypt is almost turning to another Syrian,” she quizzed.
She said the security situation in northern African nation was very scary.
“We refuse to say we are safe,” added Phiri.
The student advised the government to take precautions, wondering why Malawi is docile, while a whole super-power like the United States of America acted with speed to secure its citizens.
Other students who spoke to Nyasa Times claimed security conditions within their neighborhoods were deteriorating, especially with the widespread looting and banditry
Violence continues to escalate in Egypt’s cities of Cairo and Alexandria following anti-regime protests which forced the military to topple the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi from power.
Morsi, an Islamist and Egypt’s first freely elected leader, was removed from office by the army last week after mass protests.
His supporters accuse the military of staging a coup, but his opponents say the move is the continuation of the revolution that deposed President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The South African government recently made a decision to evacuate some of its personnel living at its embassy in Cairo, media reports show.
Meanwhile, the United States has condemned the violence in Egypt, calling for “maximum restraint”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :