Protesters toppled a series of Myanmar military telecommunications towers

A Myanmar military spokesman said the call for an uprising by the “National Unity Government of Myanmar” (NUG) on September 7 was a plot to attract the world’s attention and said it would unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, protesters on September 8 destroyed about a dozen military-owned telecommunications towers in Myanmar. Protesters said they targeted 11 telecommunications towers of Mytel, one of Myanmar’s four main mobile networks, in the town of Budalin in the Sagaing region. Acting NUG President Duwa Lashi La on September 7 called on residents to target military assets in their area.

Protesters

Security forces were reinforced in Yangon on September 7. Photo: EPA-EFE

According to Reuters news agency, no violence has been recorded on September 8, although security forces have been beefed up in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Earlier in the day, protests and fighting broke out between the army and ethnic minority forces.

“All parties must prioritize the safety and interests of the people of Myanmar,” Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told Reuters news agency. The spokesman said that humanitarian assistance can only take place if the security situation in Myanmar is guaranteed.

Indonesia has led the regional effort in resolving the crisis in Myanmar after the military toppled the government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.

Mr. Richard Horsey, a Myanmar expert at the International Crisis Organization, said: “NUG’s statement has received strong support on Myanmar’s social media”.

However, he said it was unclear whether the opposition forces were capable of escalating the war against the well-equipped army and that the NUG’s declaration of “war” could backfire by some. It is difficult for the country to support them.

British Ambassador to Myanmar Pete Vowles called on all parties to engage in dialogue. While Western countries impose sanctions to pressure Myanmar’s military junta, ASEAN is leading efforts for a diplomatic solution.

A spokesman for the US State Department said the US does not accept violence as a solution to the current crisis and called on all sides to maintain peace.

Contrary to most Western countries, China has taken a softer line and said its priority is stability and non-interference in the internal affairs of its neighbour.

China’s Global Times warned that if Western countries provided military support to the anti-regime forces, it could cause protracted violent chaos in Myanmar.

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