It's their duty and Myanmar's military must take first step to end the violence, says former UN chief


Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. - Reuters

BANGKOK, April 29 (Bernama): The military must take the first steps to end the crisis in Myanmar says former United Nations Chief, Ban Ki-Moon.

Ban, who visited Myanmar on April 23 and 24, and met junta chief, Min Aung Hlaing and former President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw, also called for an immediate cessation of violence and implementation of Asean Five-Point Consensus by the junta.

The visit was seen as peacemaking mission to end violence and establish a peaceful, democratic, inclusive and legitimate government.

In a statement, "The Elders”, a group of former global leaders, said Ban met Myanmar’s military leaders and former President Thein Sein to discuss the situation and emphasised the importance of all parties playing a role in securing a lasting solution, including the National Unity Government,

"I came to Myanmar to urge the military to adopt an immediate cessation of violence, and start constructive dialogue among all parties concerned.

"My meetings were exploratory. I will do all I can to help the people of Myanmar secure the peace, prosperity and freedom they deserve,” Ban said.

The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, is an independent group of global leaders working for peace, justice, human rights and a sustainable planet.

Ban urged Asean Member States and the wider international community to show unity and resolve in their commitment to peace and democracy in Myanmar, which is a source of serious international concern.

"With patient determination, I believe a way forward can be found out of the current crisis. The military must take the first steps”, he said.

Ban, whose visit was at the invitation of the Myanmar military, stressed the urgency of making progress on implementation of the Asean Five-Point Consensus and last December’s United Nations Security Council Resolution 2669.

Ban supported the international community’s calls for the immediate release by the Myanmar military of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, for constructive dialogue, and for utmost restraint from all parties.

He also reiterated that the strong international condemnation of the recent military air strike in Sagaing region, which is estimated to have killed more than 160 civilians including women and children.

On holding election, Ban warned that the elections must only be held when conditions were in place for them to be free and fair.

"Holding elections under current conditions risks further violence and division, and the results not being recognised by the people of Myanmar, Asean and the wider international community,” he said,

The former secretary-general of UN made multiple trips to Myanmar before. He has a personal history of supporting Myanmar’s progress while he was the UN Secretary-General.

Myanmar has been in crisis since the military toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government in February 2021 coup, with an estimated 3,200 civilians killed as part of the junta's crackdown on dissent. - Bernama

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