Myanmar: phone call between European and Burmese soldiers. With advice: stop climbing

(B2) The EU Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Hervé Bléjean, just had a telephone conversation on Tuesday (9 March) with the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Burmese army. Objective: discuss the situation in the country and call for reason

What better way to talk to military coup perpetrators than another military. The process may seem logical. But until now, it was rare for European diplomacy to go through its own military. Or at least let her know 'urbi et orbi' and quickly. Minds change...

A non-trivial phone call

General Soe Win is not just anybody. Vice-president of the State Administrative Council, he is an experienced senior officer. Head of the 'North' regional command in 2008, he was responsible for Kachin State. Then in 2010, as head of the special operations office, he oversaw anti-guerrilla operations in Rakhine (where the Rohingha minority lives) and Chin states. Since 2011, he has held the position of number 2 in the Burmese army (Tatmadaw), succeeding General Maung Aye.

The role of the army: protecting the population, not playing escalation

It was the first contact with the army since the February 1 coup. A coup that the EU “ condemns in the strongest terms » is it necessary to recall. Taking advantage of his (good) contacts on the spot, Vice-Admiral Bléjean therefore “ urged "the military authorities to" cease all violence immediately ", at " exercise the utmost restraint " in the face of the demonstrations, to " avoid new victims and to respect international law, according to the report in the press release from the European diplomatic service. " The role of any army must be to protect the population ” emphasizes the VAE Bléjean.

Return to the barracks and restore civilian rule

Another request from the European soldier: We must restore stability and democracy “under a civilian regime” legitimate ", especially for " avoid further deterioration of the socio-economic situation already difficult. VAE Bléjean also urged his military counterpart to release the country's democratically elected leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint, as well as all other political detainees, and " to engage in an inclusive political dialogue with all parties.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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