Myanmar's leader met President Obama at the White House on Monday and pledged his government's commitment to democratic reforms, an end to communal violence and a cease-fire with ethnic minority rebels fighting in the northern part of his Southeast Asian nation.
Few imagined Myanmar would embrace democracy when the U.S. began its historic engagement with the military regime. The country's rapid changes were lauded by visiting Western leaders, and the nation's president was hailed as a hero. But spasms of spreading, communal violence show the reform path is bumpier than expected and have taken the sheen off a foreign policy success of the Obama administration's first term.
Human rights advocates warned the Obama administration Wednesday against lifting sanctions on Myanmar's military-backed government because its democratic reforms could be reversed.
Myanmar authorities on Friday revised downward the death toll from this week's ethnic violence in the country's west after warning that the strife risks harming the country's reputation as it seeks to shift to democratic rule.
Men fatally shot an Iraqi general Monday, among three people killed and six wounded in nationwide violence, security and medical officials said.
Myanmar's army is poised for a major assault on Kachin minority rebels, the guerrilla group said Thursday, despite calls for an end to the violence that has cast a shadow over the new regime's reforms.