NAYPYITAW, Myanmar – Myanmar's powerful army chief is urging the country's ethnic rebel groups to agree to a comprehensive cease-fire agreement now and stop wasting time on demands he describes as impossible.
Speaking Tuesday at the annual Armed Forces Day parade, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said armed conflicts with rebel groups who have been seeking greater autonomy for several decades had caused Myanmar's development to lag behind its neighbors.
Myanmar's military ruled the country for a half-century during which it was accused of widespread abuses before partially handing power to a civilian government in 2016. It is still in charge of security issues.
Several of Myanmar's more powerful ethnic rebel groups have declined to take part in cease-fire talks and continue armed struggle for autonomy.