Min Aung Hlaing, the new strong man of Burma: a general without charismatic and juridical point

Min Aung Hlaing, the new strong man of Burma: a general without charismatic and juridical point

General Min Aung hlaing, on the Day of Martyrs, in Rangoun, Burma, July 19, 2018. YE AUNG THU / AFPThe man does not correspond to the classical profile of one of these old galaly-swept bad guys that we meet with in the tyrants, general at the low front of an army of cruel and war-free putschists: the author of the coup d’état of February 1 in Burma, General Min Aung Hlaing, is a man with a certain academic background. He is not a man of the serail: son of an engineer, the general is a provincial who had to be firm to rise on the highest step of the hierarchy.

Read also In Burma, General Min Aung Hlaing at the centre of the gameHis former colleagues in the military academy – where he failed twice before joining the prestigious institution – remembered a small man with no particular size, a taciturn and little talk. “It was really not an exceptional student,” said, a few years ago, one of his former comrades at the Reuters agency. He was not particularly motivated, even though he was not a lazy guy either.

There, in this universe of all turbulences, where various and sometimes competing insurrections emerge, he will learn to negotiate with the warlords. For a long time, considered a hard man – so a man of trust – by former dictator Than Shwe, who passed his hand in 2011, Min Aung Hlaing joined the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Land, Aviation and Marine Corps in the same year. The suite is reserved for subscribers.