Indonesia’s president condemns attack on ASEAN officials in Myanmar

Image courtesy of Channel News Asia

Indonesia‘s President Joko Widodo, today, condemned an attack in Myanmar on ASEAN officials delivering humanitarian aid but did not provide further details of the occurrence. Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government, allied with the anti-junta militias, the People’s Defence Forces (PDF), stated that it was not aware of any attack. The PDF in Taunggyi District, Shan State, where the attack reportedly took place, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At a press briefing in Labuan Bajo, a fishing town in eastern Indonesia where the 42nd ASEAN summit will be held this week, President Widodo stressed the need to end the violence. “What I want to emphasise is that the attack does not affect ASEAN and Indonesia’s resolve to once again call for an end to violence. Stop using force… Because the citizens will be the victims; nobody will emerge as winners in such conditions,” he said in Bahasa. “I urge that we sit together, create space for dialogue to find a solution together.”

As the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Indonesia launched a quiet effort to make a breakthrough in the crisis in Myanmar. Its diplomats have held more than 60 “engagements” with all parties involved, the foreign minister noted earlier this month. Additional reporting was provided by Taufiq Zalizan and Grace Yeoh.

The attack on vehicle convoys reportedly took place yesterday, and Myanmar’s military government quickly denied involvement, adding that it was not aware of any incidents involving ASEAN humanitarian aid workers. The ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre (AHA Centre) coordinated these convoy missions, and several sources nearby confirmed the attack. The AHA Center has not yet provided an official statement.

The convoys were allegedly delivering essential aid to internally displaced people affected by the conflict since the February 2021 military coup. Myanmar has faced a severe humanitarian crisis as a result of the intense fighting between various ethnic armed organisations, the military government, and civilian resistance groups.

Despite a visit by an ASEAN delegation last month, headed by its special envoy, Prak Sokhonn, limited progress has been made in addressing the situation. The delegation had planned to discuss possible ceasefires and dialogue among all parties involved in the conflict. However, many consider the outcome to be disappointing.

As the leader of ASEAN this year, Indonesia has a challenging task to balance differing political ideologies within the group and forge a united ASEAN stance. Some member states are seen as sympathetic to the military government in Myanmar, while others, like Indonesia, are pushing for a peaceful resolution and the return of civilian governance.

It remains to be seen what impact the attack in Myanmar will have on the 42nd ASEAN Summit and the subsequent actions taken by the Association to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, reports Channel News Asia.

World News


Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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