State of emergency renewed in Kokang

President’s office issues order that extends state of emergency, which expired Monday, in conflict-hit region.

State of emergency renewed in Kokang

World Bulletin / News Desk

Myanmar’s president has renewed a state of emergency in conflict-hit Kokang region along the eastern border with China, state media announced Wednesday, meaning the area will remain under martial law for a pivotal election in early November.

Fighting broke out between ethnic Kokang rebels and the Myanmar military in February, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes and sparking diplomatic tensions with China when stray shells landed across the border and killed Chinese civilians.

“The region remains unable to return to normalcy in terms of administration, peace and tranquillity and rule of law,” said an announcement in the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper Wednesday.

The President’s Office on Tuesday issued a Military Administrative Order that extends the state of emergency, which expired on Monday, for a further 90 days until Nov. 17, the report said.

That means the region will be under military control as the country goes to the polls on Nov. 8 in what has been billed as Myanmar’s first free election for 25 years.

Myanmar began emerging from outright military rule in 2010, when a discredited poll that was boycotted by the opposition brought the current reformist regime to power.

It is unclear whether or not polling booths will open in Kokang for the November vote. The local election commission has complied voter lists in the area and is preparing for polling, the Irrawaddy website reported, citing the commission’s chairperson U Pwint.

But a lawmaker cast doubt on the region’s chances of being included, the website added. Hla Swe, of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party, said: “I think stability is more important in a region like Kokang than the election.”   

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Ağustos 2015, 10:03
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