LILONGWE, 1 March 2021 – Riot police fired tear gas to disperse students who blocked traffic in Lilongwe Monday, calling for a reopening of schools.

In Lilongwe, the students used rocks, tree branches and whatever other obstacles they could raise to prevent traffic from circulatibng normally, prompting police to send them packing from the street with tear gas.

Students Block Streets in Lilongwe - Photo Voice of America

Students Block Streets in Lilongwe – Photo Voice of America

Students Demonstrating in Lilongwe - Photo Nyasa Times

Students Demonstrating in Lilongwe – Photo Nyasa Times

There were protests in other cities of the country as well, spotting students in their school uniforms.

Malawi’s government ordered the reopening of schools six weeks ago but teachers have defied the order, demanding to be paid a risk allowance.

The government has said it cannot afford the risk allowance payments.

Negotiations last week between the government and leaders of the teachers’ unions failed to reach an agreement.

Talks between the parties are expected to continue Tuesday.

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