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Burma: visit by former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon

Burma: visit by former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon


Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has arrived in Burma, state media reported on Monday in the Southeast Asian country which is embroiled in bloody conflict . 

The military junta in power since its 2021 coup is carrying out a brutal crackdown on dissent, refusing to engage with opponents and ignoring international diplomatic efforts to put an end to the crisis.

South Korean Ban Ki-Moon and his team “arrived in Naypyidaw by plane last night,” the state-run “Global New Light of Myanmar” newspaper reported, without giving details of the content of the visit.

The former UN chief is part of “The Elders”, a group of international personalities working for the settlement of conflicts in the world.

He has was welcomed by the deputy ministers of defense and foreign affairs, the newspaper said.

A state television bulletin showed Ban Ki-Moon waving to the cameras upon his arrival at the airport in the capital, built in the jungle by the military, accompanied by several officials.

Mr. Ban, who also served as South Korea's foreign minister, visited Myanmar several times when he was UN secretary-general, with varying degrees of success negotiating with the generals. p>

In 2009, he pressured Than Shwe, then head of the junta, to release Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the Democratic camp, but was unable to meet her himself.

In 2016, when the former Nobel Peace Prize laureate was released and became the de facto civilian leader of the country, he returned to bolster international support for the signing of peace agreements with rebel groups.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been imprisoned again since the 2021 coup, arrested in the early hours of the putsch and subsequently sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison at the outcome of a river trial denounced by human rights defenders as a charade.

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