Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta will only stop violence when ‘country stabilizes’

Bangkok, Apr 27 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta said Tuesday it will only fulfill the five points of consensus reached with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including the end of violence against civilians, when the country “returns to stability.”

In a statement published Tuesday by the ruling New Light of Myanmar newspaper, the military junta said it will “carefully consider the suggestions” of ASEAN leaders “when stability returns to the country,” as current priorities are “to maintain stability, law and order, and reestablishing “community peace and tranquility.”

Likewise, the junta said it told ASEAN leaders the “suggestions will be considered positively,” if the application of the five agreed points of consensus “serves the interests of the country.”

The statement said junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing gave ASEAN leaders a brochure justifying the Feb. 1 military’s coup on alleged fraud committed in November’s elections won by deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party.

ASEAN leaders and the military junta reached a commitment Saturday to end violence against civilians during a summit in Jakarta, Hlaing’s first overseas trip since seized power.

The ASEAN bloc consensually approved a statement in which it is explicitly said “there will be an immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar and all parties will exercise maximum restraint.” They also agreed to “a constructive dialogue between all parties to seek a peaceful solution” and the association’s mediating intervention.

Hlaing said in state television statements that the priority is to stabilize the country and he would consider allowing the visit of the ASEAN delegation “depending on the stability of the country.”

Violence continued Tuesday in Myanmar, where more than 750 civilians have died in clashes with security forces. The Karen National Liberation Army guerrilla attacked and occupied an army border post in the east of the country amid increased hostilities.

The guerrillas, who have expressed their support for the civil disobedience movement against the coup, repelled the Myanmar soldiers from the Thaw Le Hta border post, located near the Thai province of Mae Hong Son, according to local newspaper The Irrawaddy.

According to videos supposedly taken from the Thai side, the camp can be seen set alight, while the number of casualties and injuries was unknown as of press time.

On Mar. 27, the guerrilla seized another military post from the army in Thi Mu Hta (west), killing 10 officials, including an officer, and detaining eight soldiers. EFE


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