Myanmar junta can't beat rebels, should restore democracy - US diplomat

Myanmar junta can't beat rebels, should restore democracy - US diplomat

FILE PHOTO: Police stand guard as they wait for protests against coup in Yangon, Myanmar Feb 4, 2021. (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: Police stand guard as they wait for protests against coup in Yangon, Myanmar Feb 4, 2021. (Reuters)

Myanmar's junta likely cannot to defeat the rebels fighting its rule and should restore democracy after seizing power last year, a senior US diplomat said.

"It's hard to see today how they could realistically think they can win," said Derek Chollet, the State Department counsellor. "They're losing territory. Their military is taking serious losses."

Speaking to Reuters and another journalist in Bangkok on Friday, Chollet said the military government is becoming isolated not only internationally but also at home and should end the fight and return to democracy.

The junta overthrew the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021 and has since used deadly force and mass arrests to suppress demonstrations.

Civilians have taken up arms to fight police and soldiers, answering a call by an alliance of lightly armed rebels for a people's revolt. The junta has declared the alliance "terrorists".

A spokesperson for the military did not answer calls seeking comment on Sunday about Chollet's remarks.

The diplomat is visiting Thailand, Singapore and Brunei to follow up on a meeting last month of the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

In addition to imposing sanctions, Washington is working with Asean and countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia regarding Myanmar, Chollet said.

He expressed hope that China could also be "part of the solution" in Myanmar.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (14)

Opec+ likely to maintain oil output levels

VIENNA: Major oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia and Russia look set to maintain their current output levels at a meeting Sunday, ahead of fresh sanctions against Moscow coming into force.

15:45

War dogs: sausages bolster the fight in eastern Ukraine

DONETSK REGION, Ukraine: On the roads leading to the front in Ukraine's war-torn east, every morning begins with a familiar scene -- soldiers filling up trucks, sipping steaming coffee and catching up between bites of fresh hot dogs.

15:45

Indonesia's Mount Semeru volcano erupts, top alert status triggered

Indonesia's Mount Semeru erupted Sunday spewing hot ash clouds a mile into the sky and sending rivers of lava down its side, prompting authorities to raise the alert status to the highest level.

15:31