Even after being accused of ethnic cleansing against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, the Myanmar Army has been invited to be part of the prestigious Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand. The exercise is jointly led by the US and Thai military personnel.
The Cobra Gold exercise is an Asia-Pacific military exercise held in Thailand every year. It is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise, and is among the largest multinational military exercise in which the United States participates.
According to reports, Thailand extended the invitation to Myanmar. The Myanmar Army team will watch the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief part of the exercise. Interestingly, Myanmar’s invitation comes at a critical juncture when the national army is caught in the accusation of ethnic cleansing against the minority Muslim Rohingya population.
The US is definitely not happy with the Myanmar’s participation at the exercise. The US has been vocal against Myanmar Army’s atrocities on the minority Rohingya population in the Rakhaine province. Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thailand had invited Myanmar to take part in the annual Cobra Gold exercise.
The news about Thailand inviting Myanmar Army for the joint military exercise came after the Trump administration on Thursday announced sanctions against Myanmar Army General Maung Maung Soe, who is accused of ethnic cleansing.