Conflicts & War

ASEAN condemns Myanmar military massacre that killed more than 100

Bangkok, Apr 13 (EFE).- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday condemned the Myanmar military’s airstrikes on an opposition administration ceremony that killed more than 100, including women, children and elderly villagers.

“All forms of violence must end immediately, particularly the use of force against civilians,” said the bloc, to which Myanmar and nine other nations in the region belong, in a statement, also reiterating its commitment to helping Myanmar find a “workable and durable” solution to the conflict.

The statement insisted on the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus agreed upon with the Myanmar junta in April 2021, two months after the Feb. 1 coup, which included dialogue between all parties involved and an end to violence.

“This would be the only way to create a conducive environment for an inclusive national dialogue to find a sustainable peaceful solution in Myanmar,” the text added.

However, the imperceptible progress of the ASEAN plan has drawn criticism, with the organization speaking out against this deadliest attack since the coup two days after the incident and following widespread condemnations from the international community.

The United Nations, United States, the European Union and others on Wednesday condemned Tuesday morning’s bombing of an inauguration ceremony for a new administrative office linked to the opposition shadow National Unity Government (NUG) and its armed People’s Defense Force, a movement formed mostly by young people after the Feb. 1, 2021 coup, in the Sagaing region town of Pazigyi.

The NUG, made up in part of former lawmakers from elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, said in a statement that the attack killed more than 100 people, including 18 children and pregnant women, although it is estimated that the number may increase.

According a NUG spokesman, fighters returned to bomb the town in rebel-held territory as volunteers searched for survivors among the rubble and removed lifeless bodies.

The junta has confirmed responsibility for the air raid on the event attended by the opposition as well as dozens of women, children and elderly civilians that coincided with the start of Thingyan New Year celebrations.

Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, which this year holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN, said last month that Jakarta is holding dialogue “behind the scenes” with various parties involved in the conflict in Myanmar, without specifying which ones and emphasizing that the negotiations will take time.

ASEAN, founded in 1967 and consisting of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, since the coup has banned junta representatives from its highest-level official meetings, with the next summit of leaders scheduled for May 9-11 in Labuan Bajo on the Indonesian island of Flores. EFE


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