Myanmar marks 75th year of independence as UN calls for end to violence

Myanmar's Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, head of the military council, inspects officers during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of Independence Day in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Jan. 4, 2023.

Myanmar’s ruling military leader, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, announced plans for an election later this year and called for national unity in a speech on Wednesday as he led a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of independence from Britain.

This week the U.N. Security Council also passed its first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years, demanding the military junta immediately end violence in the Southeast Asian nation and free all political prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.

Junta allies China and Russia abstained instead of vetoing Wednesday’s measure. On Friday, the junta’s foreign ministry released a statement accusing the U.N. of “exerting pressure to destabilize Myanmar rather than supporting the government’s efforts.”

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