Myanmar junta leader says armed organisations must solve their problems 'politically' - state media

YANGON (Reuters): Myanmar's junta leader Min Aung Hlaing has called on armed ethnic groups involved in an offensive against the country's ruling military to solve their problems "politically", state media reported on Tuesday.

"(He) warned that if armed organisations keep on being foolish, residents of the relevant regions will suffer bad impacts. So, it is necessary to consider the lives of the people, and those organisations need to solve their problems politically," the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.

Myanmar's military is facing the biggest challenge to its grip on the Southeast Asian nation since taking power in a 2021 coup, after three ethnic minority forces launched a coordinated offensive in late October, capturing some towns, including major border trade zones, and military posts.

A parallel civilian government backing some of the armed rebel groups dismissed Min Aung Hlaing's call for dialogue.

"As they are losing badly on the ground, they are trying to find an exit route. There would be genuine dialogue if the military guarantees that it no longer has a role in politics; they must be under an elected government," said Kyaw Zaw, a spokesperson for the parallel National Unity Government.

Amid fighting in Shan State on the border with China, and Rakhine and Chin States in the west, dozens of military and police officials have surrendered, according to media and footage verified by Reuters.

Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced by the fighting, according to the United Nations.

(Reporting by Reuters staff; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor) - Reuters

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