Home » Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon travels to Myanmar

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon travels to Myanmar

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BANGKOK (AP) — Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made a surprise visit to Myanmar on Monday on behalf of a group of major statists who are carrying out peace and human rights initiatives around the world, a diplomat said Monday. South Korean.

The arrival of Ban, vice president of the Elders, in the capital Naypyidaw was announced Sunday night on state television MRTV. He arrived with a small entourage and was received by the Vice Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs.

“This visit of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon was fully scheduled by The Elders. We are not participating in this process,” said a member of the South Korean embassy who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “This is not an official visit. It’s probably a two day visit. He will leave tonight.”

Ban was foreign minister in South Korea.

The Elders have yet to release any details about Ban’s visit, and the military government did not provide any further information either, although it appeared the trip would address the political crisis in Myanmar. The group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007.

Ban was scheduled to meet the country’s leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, on Monday morning and visit the National Museum, an official in Naypyidaw said. The official also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to provide information.

Myanmar has been engulfed in violence since the army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, 2021. The coup prevented Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, from beginning its second term.

The military uprising met with strong public opposition, which the security forces repressed with deadly force, and has turned into widespread armed resistance.

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Outside efforts to broker a peace have been unsuccessful, even when they come from parties in good standing with the military government, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a group of 10 countries. The government dismisses pressure to negotiate as an intrusion into Myanmar’s sovereignty and generally describes the majority of the pro-democracy opposition as terrorists.

Ban has a long history of relationship with Myanmar. When he was secretary-general of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016, Ban went to Myanmar to pressure the then-ruling generals to allow experts and foreign aid to reach survivors of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, which killed an estimated 134,000 people. He also urged the army to open up to democracy.

In addition, he attended a peace conference in Naypyidaw in 2016 that was trying to end decades of armed conflict with ethnic minorities.

Two months after the military coup, Ban urged the United Nations Security Council and Southeast Asian countries to take swift and firm action to stop the violent crackdown. He later tried to make a diplomatic visit to Myanmar in which he hoped to meet with all parties to try to de-escalate the conflict and promote dialogue, but the authorities in Myanmar told him that it was not a good time.

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