Thousands participated in a march in Karen state's capital Hpa-an on Tuesday, July 28, to denounce the recent killing of a civilian by military personnel. An estimated 5000 people attended the march, which seemed to pass of peacefully.
Further marches are possible over the near term. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any protest site.
Two soldiers have been arrested for the killing of ethnic Karen Naw Mu Naw, and the robbery of her jewellery that took place in Dwe Lo township in Karen state on July 16. Naw Mu Naw's murder sparked a wave of protests over the last two weeks, but Tuesday's was reportedly the largest rally to date.
The killing has reignited tensions in the state that has for decades experienced civil war between the military and ethnic Karen militants. Karen National Union (KNU) rebels signed a ceasefire in 2012 with the military after more than 60 years of fighting, one of a number of groups to join the country's fragile peace process.
Individuals in Hpa-an are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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