Australia cuts military ties with Myanmar
Published: 02:05 PM, 8 March 2021
Australia has suspended its defense co-operation with Myanmar, citing “rising violence and a rising death toll.”
At the same time, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has called on Myanmar’s security forces to refrain from using violence against civilians.
“We strongly urge Myanmar’s security forces to exercise restraint and refrain from using violence against civilians,” Payne said.
Australia’s bilateral defense relations with the Myanmar army are largely concerned with civilian issues. For example, after the Myanmar army carried out a massacre of the Rohingya community in Rakhine State in 2017, Australia continued its project to provide English training to the Burmese army.
Payne added that Australia would resume providing emergency humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities.
“We are also looking at the development projects and cooperation that we are providing, and we are fully committed to helping Myanmar’s weakest and poorest people, one of the poorest countries in ASEAN,” he said.
Anna Roberts, executive director of the London-based organization Burma Campaign, said Australia had finally canceled a training project that they should not have actually started.
12 more countries were still involved in training and cooperating with the Burmese military. Countries that are training the Burmese army are in favor of the military, which is firing on peaceful protesters, she said.