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May 21, 2014 AT 4:28 AM
Thailand's army chief assumed the role of mediator Wednesday by summoning the country's key political rivals for face-to-face talks one day after imposing martial law. The meeting ended without any resolution, however, underscoring the profound challenge the army faces in trying to end the country's crisis. Residents, meanwhile, tried to make sense of the dramatic turn of events after six months of protests aimed at ousting the government. Around Bangkok there was little sign of tension, and most soldiers that had occupied key intersections in the capital a day earlier had withdrawn.