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Iran Press TV

Myanmar's junta dissolves ousted leader Suu Kyi's party

Iran Press TV

Friday, 21 May 2021 5:00 PM

Myanmar's junta has ordered the dissolution of the political party of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, labeling her and fellow party members "traitors."

A junta-appointed electoral commission was tasked with dissolving the National League for Democracy Party (NLD) due to alleged election fraud, local news outlet Myanmar Now reported on Friday.

The NLD committed election fraud in elections last year "so we will have to dissolve the party's registration," said the chairman of the Union Election Commission (UEC), Thein Soe. "Those who did that will be considered as traitors and we will take action."

The Myanmarese military took power in a coup d'état in February 1, and detained the de facto leader and many other political leaders over fraud in last year's elections, which had given the NLD enough seats in parliament to form the next government.

Ever since, mass protests have been taking place across the country and the military has been brutally cracking down on protesters.

More than 800 people have so far been killed by the military, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (AAPP). Nearly 4,000 people have also been detained.

Ethnic armed groups — who have maintained their own forces for decades — have also recently been engaged in combat with military forces in support of the protesters.

The Kachin Army (KIA) in the north and the Karen National Union (KNU) in the east are the two most important armed groups in the country.

Junta increases security at border with China

In recent days, local fighters in Kachin and Shan — a state bordering China — have reportedly targeted trucks that they say supply fuel for military airstrikes against their positions or transport troops.

On Friday, the military said it would beef up security in the region due to ambushes on fuel supply lines.

Two privately-owned trucks were destroyed near Sumprabum in Kachin, state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Friday, as part of a string of attacks that has contributed to "fuel shortages and high commodity prices" for the military. "It is reported security forces are stepping up security in the area," it added.

Kachin Independence Army (KIA) spokesman Naw Bu claimed that the group had destroyed several tankers in the state in recent days. He claimed that at least seven trucks carrying fuel imported from China through neighboring Shan State had been destroyed on Monday and Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian country imports the vast majority of its oil from Singapore. Imports for October-April dropped by more than a quarter year-on-year, and prices went up by 30 percent.

The World Bank warned that Myanmar's economy was expected to contract by a staggering 10 percent in 2021. And the United Nations (UN)'s Development Program said the combined effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the military coup could see nearly half of the Myanmarese population living in poverty by next year.

Many have also warned that the escalation of fighting in the border areas has now brought the country to the brink of civil war.

Since the coup, many people have fled to territory controlled by the ethnic groups to take military training.

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