Myanmar junta reshuffles cabinet after extending state of emergency
Bangkok, Feb 2 (EFE).- The Myanmar military junta has replaced its foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle a day after imposing a six-month state of emergency extension, state media reported Thursday.
In the reshuffle, unelected, self-proclaimed leader Min Aung Hlaing maintained the main portfolios, such as home affairs (occupied by Soe Htut), defense (Mya Tun Oo) and finance, occupied by Win Shein, who was also proclaimed a deputy prime minister.
In the most notable change, military man Than Swe will replace Wunna Maung Lwin as foreign affairs minister, reported The Global New Light of Myanmar.
The outgoing foreign minister has not been invited by his regional counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to participate in ministerial meetings of the bloc, including one held in Indonesia across Saturday and Sunday.
Changes were also announced in the portfolios of agriculture, hotels and tourism and ethnic affairs.
In addition, a central advisory body for the junta was created, the functions of which were not specified.
On Wednesday, the second anniversary of the coup, the junta announced a six-month extension to the nationwide state of emergency, which will mostly likely further delay elections that were expected to be held by August, even though experts and foreign officials have said the vote would be a sham and possibly create more unrest.
The military coup on Feb. 1, 2021 plunged Myanmar into deep political, social and economic crises and has reopened a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that have exacerbated decades of warfare between the government and ethnic guerrilla groups.
Since the coup, at least 2,947 civilians have been killed and 13,787 are still in detained, according to figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. EFE