Deep concern over Myanmar violence dominates Asean Summit

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Southeast Asian nations expressed deep concern over the ongoing violence in Myanmar, condemning a recent attack on a convoy of diplomats delivering humanitarian aid in the country. The crisis in Myanmar, which is under junta rule, has been a dominant topic of discussion at this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Indonesia, as the regional bloc has faced criticism for its perceived inaction regarding the situation.

ASEAN has led diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, but so far, their attempts have not successfully stopped the bloodshed following the military coup in February 2021. In a statement, ASEAN leaders urged an immediate end to all forms of violence and the use of force, in order to create a conducive environment for safe and timely humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogues, reports Bangkok Post.

Myanmar’s junta continues to resist international criticism and has refused to engage with opponents, including ousted lawmakers, anti-coup “People’s Defence Forces”, and armed ethnic minority groups. An airstrike on a village in a rebel stronghold last month reportedly resulted in approximately 170 fatalities, sparking global condemnation and further increasing the junta’s isolation.

Pressure on the regional bloc mounted after a convoy of vehicles carrying diplomats and officials coordinating ASEAN humanitarian relief in Myanmar was attacked recently. The ASEAN leaders condemned the attack and emphasized that the responsible parties must face accountability.

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At the summit yesterday, the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, asserted confidence in the 10-member bloc’s ability to address growing global challenges, provided its members remain united. Widodo stated that, with unity, ASEAN would be able to play a central role in bringing about peace and growth, as he opened the leaders’ session of the summit.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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