Myanmar’s ruling military, which has faced nationwide protests against the coup that toppled the elected government three months ago, has said it will not agree to a meeting of Southeast Asian envoys until stability is established and expressed concern that it will take further action against protesters and ethnic minorities. Deadly violence.
Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reached a five-point sensitization summit last month at a summit on the Myanmar crisis, attended by senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the architect of the February 1 coup.
These included an end to the violence, dialogue between the military and its opponents, permission for humanitarian aid, and permission to visit a special Asian ambassador.
“Right now, we are prioritizing the security and stability of the country,” said Maj. Kaung Hate Sun, a spokesman for the military council.
“We will only cooperate with this ambassador once we have achieved a certain level of security and stability.”
He added that the military government would consider the suggestions made for the conference if they could help the country to take a stand.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military coup, which angered people who refused to tolerate a return to military rule after five decades of economic mismanagement and underdeveloped development.
There have been protests and processions for most of the day, the latest pro-democracy demonstration in the commercial capital Yangon on Friday, and small protests in at least ten places across the country.
More wireless arrest, blocking
At least 74,744 people have been killed and more than 3,700 detained in military operations against the opposition, according to an advocacy group monitoring the crisis.
On Saturday, social media posts said security forces had taken several people to Yangon without a warrant.
The military says it is fighting “terrorists.” On Friday, spokesman Kaung Het-sun said more arrests of violence instigators were made than public announcements.
Those attending the April 24 ASEAN summit in Jakarta praised the success, but analysts and leaders doubt that Myanmar’s generals will implement the five-point plan, which had no timeline or no mention of releasing political prisoners, including ousted leader Sun Suu Kyi.
Kaung Het-sun said ASEAN leaders had given positive advice to Min Aung Hlaing, but whether they would be followed depends on the situation in Myanmar and if their ideas are helpful to our “next vision”.
At least 30 soldiers were killed in clashes with ethnic rebel Kachin Freedom Army in Myanmar’s Kachin state on Friday. Sources told the RFA that clashes between the Karen State Army and the Karen National Liberation Army have also escalated.
– Radio Free Asia (RadioFreeAsia) May 7, 2021
Conflict is revived
Myanmar is unlikely to stabilize any time soon, with renewed clashes between military and ethnic minority groups in the border areas, with regular clashes and bombings and explosions in major cities now taking place.
The military says it is fighting ethnic army miscreants and all parties are committed to a nationwide ceasefire.
It also blamed city bombings on supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted government. At least four bombings were reported early Saturday.
A coalition of recent opposition militias, the newly formed nationalist government, says the military organized the bombings as an excuse to crush their opponents.
On Friday, two local media outlets reported that Kachin Independence Army (KIA) fighters attacked and killed 30 Myanmar soldiers while traveling in the river, citing locals and a KIA source.
The KIA also accused the army of using banned chemical bombs during the current airstrikes, according to reports from Kachin State.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify the information due to report limitations.
Kaung Het-Sun said the military would deal with violence and armed conflict in “appropriate ways.”
The military has had limited access to the Internet for months in a bid to disrupt the anti-coup movement, and this week banned satellite television subscribers from broadcasting outside.
Kaung Het-Sun said the military respected the public’s right to access information, but that foreign-based social networks were used to share material that was “extremely worrying for national security.”
He added that security would be beefed up to protect the strategic gas pipeline after an attack on security personnel at about one location in Mandalay this week.
Myanmar has two oil and gas pipelines that stretch across the country to China, with many Myanmar countries believing that generals were able to extract huge personal resources from natural resources during crippling sanctions and international isolation.
China has said it will not take sides in the dispute and wants a stable Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Campaign 4 continues to press the UN Security Council to help stop the violence in Myanmar by supporting a global arms embargo against Burma’s military, which has provoked a coup.
“While this arms embargo will not solve all of Burma’s problems, it will significantly increase the security of the Burmese people, including all ethnic and religious minorities,” the group said, referring to its old name.