Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta extends ceasefire as fighting continues with rebels

Bangkok, May 31 (EFE).- The Myanmar military on Monday extended until the end of June its ceasefire with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), despite still being involved in armed conflict throughout the country.

The Tatmadaw, as the armed forces are known, indicated in a statement published Monday by the official daily newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar that it will “further cease all military operations from 1 to 30 June” with the exception of those occasions in which the security forces or the State administration are attacked.

The military said that the measure, which extends the previous extension of the ceasefire that ended Monday, aims to “restore perpetual peace” and open channels of dialog with the various EAOs that have been fighting the military for decades.

The statement also indicates that the announcement seeks to “enable students to conveniently learn education as of 1 June” after the deposed elected government closed public schools throughout the past year to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The military junta is faced with the challenge of opening schools while thousands of teachers are on indefinite strike as part of the civil disobedience movement that seeks to paralyze the country in protest against the Feb. 1 coup.

Greater autonomy is the main demand of almost all ethnic minorities, including the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Kokang, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine, Shan and Wa, who together represent more than 30 percent of the 54 million people of the country.

Many of these groups have expressed their rejection of the military coup that overthrew the government led by Aung San Suu Kyi and ended a decade of nascent democracy.

Meanwhile, at least 11 soldiers were killed on Monday in an attack launched against a military camp in Shan state by an alliance of rebel groups, Khit Thit Media reported.

The rebels seized weapons and ammunition, among other objects, according to the photographs published by the outlet.

The military has also seen an increase in attacks with homemade weapons and explosives launched against security forces posts in Yangon and other cities in the country.

The self-styled National Unity Government, made up of activists and politicians opposed to the coup, released a video on Friday of the first graduation ceremony for some 100 soldiers from the newly created People’s Defense Force. EFE


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