Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Urges Armed Forces to End Violence in Myanmar WGN Radio 720

BANGKOK (AP) — Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged Myanmar’s ruling military to take initiatives to find a way out of the country’s violent political crisis, including the release of political detainees. urged. took power two years ago.

Mr. Ban met with General Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the military junta, and other senior officials in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw on Monday. His mission was carried out on behalf of a group of elder politicians engaged in peacebuilding and human rights initiatives around the world.

Ban is the vice chair of a group called The Elders.

“I came to Myanmar to urge the military to adopt an immediate cessation of violence and initiate constructive dialogue between all parties,” a statement issued by the group on Tuesday said. He described his talk as “exploratory.”

“I believe that with perseverance and determination, we will find a way out of the current crisis. The military must take the first step,” he said.

Ban, who flew from Nay Pyi Taw to Bangkok on Monday night, said during talks the need to implement a peace plan by the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a UN resolution to stop military-to-military violence, according to a statement. emphasized. And resistance forces seeking democracy after the military, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, ousted the civilian government in 2021.

“ASEAN member states and the wider international community need to show unity and determination in Myanmar’s commitment to peace and democracy, which is a source of serious international concern,” Ban was quoted as saying.

The statement also said Ban “supported the international community’s call for the immediate release by the Myanmar military of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, constructive dialogue and maximum restraint from all parties.” rice field.

Suu Kyi, 77, was jailed for 33 years after being hijacked on charges widely seen as concocted by the military to keep her from playing an active role in politics. The raid took place behind closed doors, and the military declined requests to see her from UN officials, foreign diplomats and others.

Myanmar has been plagued by violence since the military takeover and Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy failed to serve a second term. The takeover was met with massive public opposition, and security forces put it down with deadly force, sparking widespread armed resistance.

Myanmar’s military junta has spurred earlier external initiatives to seek negotiations as a violation of Myanmar’s sovereignty, and commonly calls pro-democracy opponents terrorists.

Ban warned that elections promised by the military must only be held under free and fair conditions, according to a statement by the elders.

Holding elections in the current situation would lead to further violence and division, the results of which would go unrecognized by people in Myanmar, ASEAN and the wider international community, the report said.

State television MRTV reported on Monday night that Van and Min Aung Hlaing exchanged views on the situation in Myanmar in a “friendly, positive and open discussion”. Details of the meeting were not disclosed, saying that the minister of defense and the minister of foreign affairs were also present.

The elder’s statement did not say whether Ban had made contact with Myanmar’s main opposition group, the Government of National Unity (known as NUG).

NUG spokesperson Nay Phone Latt told the Associated Press that when you shake hands with the leaders of the “terrorist army,” you should know that their hands will be stained with blood.

“It is important not to ignore the will of the people of Myanmar if they want to solve their problems,” said U Nay Phone Latt.

Experts were pessimistic about Mr. Ban’s initiative, as little progress has been made from previous peacebuilding efforts.

“Without concrete results, it is difficult to understand the value of this visit at this time. No,” Richard Horsey, a senior adviser to the Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, told the AP.

“And the prospects for a negotiated settlement in Myanmar are tenuous in any case. This is not a situation where throwing another diplomat into the issue is likely to pay dividends.”

Mr. Ban has a long relationship with Myanmar. From 2007 to 2016 he served as UN secretary-general until 2016. Mr. Ban said that the cyclone that killed an estimated 134,000 people in 2008 had left Nargis survivors unhindered by foreign aid and experts. I went to Myanmar to pressure the generals of the time to infiltrate. He urged the military to embrace democracy as well.

He also attended a peace conference in Nay Pyi Taw in 2016 aimed at ending decades of armed conflict with ethnic minority groups.

Two months after the military takeover, Secretary-General Ban called on the UN Security Council and Southeast Asian nations to take swift and strong action to end the deadly crackdown. He then attempted a diplomatic visit to Myanmar to meet with all parties to defuse the dispute and facilitate dialogue, but was told by Myanmar authorities that it was inconvenient at the time. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Urges Armed Forces to End Violence in Myanmar WGN Radio 720

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