Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said Monday that he would take “decisive action” against the country’s rebel National Unity Government (NUG) and its allied ethnic armed groups.
He emphasised that martial law had been extended throughout the country in 40 townships. The majority of these towns are strongholds for anti-junta forces. To crush the resistance led by the NUG and PDFs, he commanded his soldiers to “effectively use the firearms provided.”
Min Aung Hlaing remarks came as he addressed 8,000 service members Monday who attended the annual Armed Forces Day parade in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw.
“The terror acts of NUG and its lackey so-called People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) need to be tackled for good and all,” he said. Young and pro-democracy activists have long been vying to topple the junta joining People’s Defence Force, NUG’s armed wing.
The junta chief said that the military would then hold “free and fair elections” upon the completion of the state of emergency.
Apparently, Myanmar’s military had planned to organise elections by August this year. However, it is likely to be delayed as in February it announced that the countrywide state of emergency would prolong for another six months. It is important to note that after seizing control in February 2021, the junta has declared three extensions of six months up until now.
Junta had said that it is postponing the elections as the military did not control enough of the country for a vote to take place. In Monday address, junta chief said “serenity and stability are vital” before any election.
Russian-built Yak and Sukoi Su-30 jets flyovers left colours of Myanmar’s national flag into the skies during Monday parade.
This comes as according to reports, over 3,100 people have been killed as a result of the military’s crackdown on opposition since the coup. United Nations reports suggest that the coup has resulted in the displacement of more than a million people.
The Myanmar junta seized power in the country on 1 February, 2021, through a coup. The military, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top officials and declared a state of emergency for one year.
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Later, Suu Kyi was sentenced to 33 years in prison by the junta in December after a string of close-court trials that rights organisations have denounced as a farce.
The coup has been met with widespread condemnation from the international community, including the United States, the United Nations, and many other countries. The military’s actions have sparked protests and civil unrest throughout Myanmar. Demonstrators are demanding the restoration of democracy and the release of detained political leaders.
Moreover, the military junta has been accused of committing human rights abuses, including violence against peaceful protesters, arbitrary detentions, and the use of lethal force against civilians. The situation in Myanmar remains fluid, with ongoing protests and resistance against the military regime. The military justified the coup by claiming that the November 2020 general elections were fraudulent.
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