Conflicts & War

ASEAN envoy arrives in Myanmar to mediate crisis

Bangkok, Mar 21 (EFE).- The special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Myanmar, the Cambodian minister Prak Sokhonn, arrived in the countryMonday to mediate the crisis, although the military denied he met deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Prak Sokhonn, on an official visit until Wednesday, plans to meet representatives of the National League for Democracy, led by Suu Kyi who was the de facto until the February 2021 military coup, sources told EFE.

Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the purpose of the trip is to find ways to end the violence in the country, promote dialogue and send humanitarian aid.

The Myanmar junta has so far vetoed any possibility of the ASEAN envoy meeting Suu Kyi, under arrest since the early hours of the coup.

Since, Suu Kyi, who together with the rest of parliamentarians was in Myanmar’s capital for the inauguration of the new Legislative when the military took power, has been sentenced to six years in prison for various causes and still faces a dozen court proceedings.

This will be the first trip of the Cambodian special envoy of ASEAN, a figure agreed in April of last year between the leaders of Southeast Asia and coup leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

His predecessor, the Bruneian Erywan Yusof, did not travel to Myanmar, demanding to meet with the ousted government as well.

The Cambodian minister did not establish conditions or demands to the military junta for the trip, a decision criticized by some governments in the region.

According to Phnom Penh, the talks during this trip will revolve around the five points of consensus established by the political leaders of the bloc and the Myanmar coup leader. Among these will be “the immediate cessation of violence” against civilians and a “constructive dialogue” in which all parties participate.

Despite the agreement, ASEAN said that since then the Myanmar junta has taken “insufficient” steps toward implementing the agreement and has even vetoed Gen. Min Aung Hlaing’s participation in the meetings of the bloc’s leaders.

Myanmar has been plunged into a deep social, political and humanitarian crisis since the coup that ended the democratic government and imposed a regime of violent repression of dissent that has exacerbated the armed conflict in the country.

The army justified the coup on alleged fraud during the general elections of November 2020, whose result was annulled after Su Kyi’s party won a landslide victory with the endorsement of international observers.

ASEAN was founded in 1967 and currently consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. EFE


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