‘Myanmar has ingredients for civil war’

There are now two governments and several armed forces, says ASEAN chair

January 05, 2022 10:24 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - Singapore

Neighbourly concern: Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn called for a ceasefire in Myanmar.

Neighbourly concern: Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn called for a ceasefire in Myanmar.

Myanmar has “all the ingredients for civil war”, Cambodia, chair of Southeast Asia’s regional bloc, has warned ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Hun Sen to the crisis-wracked country.

Myanmar has been in chaos since a coup last year, with more than 1,400 people killed in a crackdown on dissent by security forces.

Mr. Hun Sen, whose country this year holds the rotating chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc, will visit Myanmar on Friday and Saturday in an effort to defuse the crisis.

But Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn warned the outlook was dire.

“The political and security crisis in Myanmar is deepening, and has led to (an) economic, health and humanitarian crisis,” he said. “We feel that all the ingredients for civil war are now on the table.

“There are now two governments, there are several armed forces, people are undergoing what they call the civil disobedience movement and (there is) guerrilla warfare around the country.”

He was speaking at a lecture on Monday organised by Singapore-based think-tank the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. Mr. Hun Sen, one of the world’s longest-ruling strongmen, on Wednesday called for a ceasefire, saying “all relevant parties must stop violence”.

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