Public primary and secondary school students staged multiple protests in Blantyre and Balaka on Monday, June 12, protesting a prolonged teacher's strike. Many of the demonstrations turned violent, as students and parents set up road blocks, burned tires, and threw stones. Police attempted to disperse protesters using teargas, and have deployed additional resources to deal with the demonstrators.
Protesters have threatened to camp outside the District Education Manager's (DEM) office in Blantyre until the strike is resolved, however the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) announced that they would continue the strike until July.
Further demonstrations are likely in the coming days and weeks.
The Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) began a nationwide strike on June 5, 2017, over delays in salary payments. Many fear that the strike, which will reportedly last until July, will negatively impact students' ability to take the Malawi School Certificate Exams, which begin on June 22.
Individuals present in Blantyre and Balaka are advised to avoid all demonstrations, to follow all instructions issued by authorities, and to anticipate travel disruptions in affected areas.
On a more general note, anyone in or planning travel to Malawi is urged to exercise caution due to the risk of violent crime (including armed robberies, carjackings, and home invasions) and to remain particularly vigilant in urban areas and at sites popular with tourists.
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