Myanmar authorities explain Loikaw clashes as ‘terrorist raid’
January 24, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC), appointed foreign ministry on Jan. 21, described skirmishes in Kayah state’s capital Loikaw 10 days earlier as an organized attack by “terrorists”.
He said in a statement that the armed ethnic group of the National Progressive Karenni Party and civilian militias known as the People’s Defense Forces carried out a raid by “taking positions in residential areas – homes, government and religious buildings” , among others.
“The ‘terrorist groups‘… [were] using local civilians as human shields and deliberately attacking civilian targets”.
“The ‘terrorists’ did not allow innocent local civilians who wanted to go to safety during the incident. Instead, they used civilians as human shields,” the statement said.
Myanmar has been in chaos since February 1, 2021, when the military dissolved the civilian-run administration over alleged election irregularities and declared a one-year state of emergency.
The Tatmadaw, as the military is called, formed the SAC the following day, as the main governing body, with the commander-in-chief of the defense services, General Min Aung Hlaing, as chairman.
The January 21 statement responds to concerns expressed by a number of countries and international organizations, the authority noted.
He pointed out that while he found that some comments had been made in a constructive manner, others had apparently been made with the intention “to exert undue political pressure on Myanmar on the basis of information emanating from unverifiable sources, anti-government organizations, media and “terrorist groups”. ”.
State “security forces” reacted [to] “terrorists” with the utmost restraint so as not to harm innocent civilians. The ‘terrorist groups’ have also launched attacks on Loikaw Prison to cause unrest and disrupt stability in the town,” the statement said.
“The security forces were forced to seek air and artillery support to counter the ‘terrorists’. However, they did not attack innocent civilians. It is learned that no innocent civilians were injured and that some prison buildings and civilian buildings suffered collateral damage during the attacks.
“As such, countries and international organizations should reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he added.
The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has also expressed deep concern over the intense clashes in Loikaw.
Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said on January 20 that the ongoing violence undermines progress made during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent visit to Myanmar.
During his trip to Myanmar, Hun Sen talked about the success of Cambodia’s win-win policy, which he said ultimately resulted in national reconciliation, comprehensive peace, stability, development and prosperity. in the Kingdom, according to Sounry.
“In this spirit, we believe that all parties concerned must accept the ceasefire and put an end to all acts of violence with the utmost restraint in order to begin a dialogue that will establish the conditions favorable to the restoration of peace in the country,” he said.