Maldives names new defence minister amid chaos

Last Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 11:54

Male: The new Maldivian President has made
urgent cabinet appointments to try and contain violence that
has spread across the archipelago since his predecessor said
he was forced to resign in a coup.

President Mohamed Waheed appointed retired colonel
Mohamed Nazim as defence minister and lawyer Mohamed Jameel
Ahmed as home minister, presidential aide Mohamed Shareef said
today.

"Even though the appointment of a national unity cabinet
is taking time, the president made these two urgent
appointments to take charge and control the spread of violence
since Wednesday evening," Shareef said.

Waheed was sworn in Tuesday just hours after his
predecessor announced his resignation in a televised press
conference. Nasheed later claimed that he had been forced to
step down in what was an effective coup d`etat orchestrated by
opposition leaders with the backing of the security forces.

Violence erupted across the holiday resort island chain
yesterday as supporters of the former president stormed police
stations and burned government buildings in outlying atolls.
In the capital Male, thousands of protesters clashed with
security forces near the police and military headquarters.

Shareef accused Nasheed of inciting his supporters to
unleash "anarchy" on the streets.

Maldivian police declined to give details of any
casualties, but denied media reports that as many as three
people may have been killed in the unrest.

Police Chief Inspector Abdul Mannan Yoosuf confirmed that
violence in the capital had spread to far flung atolls, but
added that tourist resorts were unaffected.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 11:53

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