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Ban Ki-moon 'deeply' frustrated by Myanmar

Ban Ki-moon 'deeply' frustrated by Myanmar
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN on September 23, 2010 in New York. UPI/Monika Graff | License Photo

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The lack of transparency and international engagement from the military junta in Myanmar is "deeply frustrating," the U.S. secretary-general said.

Myanmar is gearing up for general elections next month that it says moves the country along a path toward civilian leadership. The military, however, is guaranteed a sizable portion of the seats in parliament, leading observers to question the claims from military leaders.

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Meanwhile, authorities Monday said they wouldn't allow international observers to monitor the polls, CNN reports, fueling concerns about the validity of the democratic claims from military leaders.

U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon in his latest report told members of the U.N. General Assembly that his patience was wearing thin.

"Myanmar's lack of engagement is deeply frustrating, as it not only contradicts its stated policy of cooperation with the United Nations but also limits my ability to fully implement the mandate entrusted to me by the General Assembly," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, members of the international community continue to press Myanmar authorities to release opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.

Ban said her release, as well as the release of hundreds of other political prisoners, would be a welcome confidence-building measure from the military junta.

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"This will be the clearest signal of their commitment to a credible electoral process," he said.

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