Australia announces that it is cutting off its military connections with the south east Asian country of Myanmar following the countries post coup crises.
At least 50 people have reportedly been killed by security forces in a bid to stamp out the daily strikes and demonstrations that have ensued since the coup that led to the incarceration of the democratically elected President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and others.
To this end, Australia has suspended the limited Bilateral Defense Cooperation Program it has with Myanmar’s military. The relationship is restricted to non-combat areas such as English language training.
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne highlighted the government’s concerns about the rising death toll and escalating violence. This fueled her governments decision to redirect their resources towards humanitarian aid in the country. They have decided to focus on vulnerable groups like minorities, specifically mentioning the Rohingyas since no Australian development program is going through any of Myanmar’s government bodies.
She said, “We condemn the use of lethal force or violence against civilians exercising their universal rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,
“We continue to strongly urge the Myanmar security forces to exercise restraint and refrain from violence against civilians.”
Currently over, 1700 people have been detained under the military junta.