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Burma’s Ministry of Defence has announced that several senior ranking military officials, including the naval chief-of-staff, have been “allowed to retire”, BBC Burmese reported on Tuesday.
Among those who will step down are: Bureau of Special Operations (BSO)-1 commander Lt-Gen Myint Soe; BSO-2 commander Lt-Gen Aung Than Htut; BSO-3 commander Lt-Gen Hla Min*; and BSO-4 commander Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo*.
The Bureau of Special Operations are high-level field army units. Each of six bureaus oversees regional military commands. Only BSOs 5 and 6 have been left intact, which are Rangoon and Naypyidaw commands, respectively.
Also retiring are: military appointment general Lt-Gen Win Myint; and naval commander-in-chief Gen. Thura Thet Swe.
“According to sources close to the military, Rangoon Regional Military Commander Gen. Tun Tun Naung will now take up the vacant commanding position at BSO-1,” BBC reported, “while chief of armed forces training Lt-Gen Yar Pyae, Southern Regional Military Commander Gen. Aung Kyaw Zaw and Northwestern Regional Military Commander Gen. Min Naing will take up the vacant commander positions at BSO 2, 3 and 4, respectively.”
The report said that Western Regional Military Commander Col. Lu Aye was appointed to replace the outgoing military appointment general, while Naypyidaw Regional Military Commander Gen. Maung Maung Aye was appointed as the new chief of armed forces training.
The Navy’s chief-of-staff, Gen. Tin Aung San, has reportedly been promoted to commander-in-chief, taking over the position left vacant by Thura Thet Swe.
All of the officials retiring are nearing the age of 60.
It is now thought that retiring general Thura Thet Swe will run in the upcoming general election as a representative of the Union Solidarity and Development Association in Rangoon’s Coco Islands constituency, while Myint Soe and Aung Than Htut are eyeing constituencies in Sagaing’s Wuntho and Shan State’s Laogai, respectively, the BBC report said.
*ED: BBC Burmese reported that Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo was commander of BSO-3, while Lt-Gen Hla Min was commander of BSO-4. We believe this to be incorrect.