Myanmar Military Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing in April 2019

ASEAN condemns attack on humanitarian convoy in Myanmar

ASEAN leaders condemned a weekend attack on a convoy carrying regional diplomats and aid workers in Myanmar, as they opened a summit on Wednesday amid escalating violence in the Southeast Asian country under military rule.

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The meeting of government leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations began in Labuan Bajo, a picturesque seaside town on the Indonesian island of Flores, as pressure mounted on the 10-nation bloc to take firm action on member-state Myanmar. The country has been ravaged by bloodshed since the military seized power from an elected government more than two years ago and unleashed a brutal crackdown on dissent.

In a joint statement, leaders of the regional bloc said they “condemned the attack” on a humanitarian convoy in Myanmar’s Shan state on Sunday and “underlined that the perpetrators must be held accountable.”

Indonesia President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, this year’s chair of ASEAN, urged members of the bloc to unite in the face of challenges.

“At the moment, the global economy has not fully recovered. Major power rivalries continue to sharpen. The global dynamic becomes more unpredictable,” he said in a speech to open the summit.

“Will ASEAN remain a spectator? Will ASEAN stay silent? Furthermore, will ASEAN be capable of being the engine for peace and economic growth?” he asked. “I am confident that we are certain ASEAN is capable, as long as we hold the key element: ASEAN unity.”

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In their collective statement, the Southeast Asian leaders expressed support for efforts by Jakarta to push for the implementation of a five-point peace plan, which ASEAN and Myanmar’s military rulers had agreed to during an emergency summit in April 2021.

Full story: BenarNews

Ahmad Syamsudin
Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Copyright ©2023, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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