Conflicts & War

ASEAN envoy ends Myanmar trip with call for dialog

Bangkok, Jul 3 (EFE).- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ special envoy to Myanmar, Cambodian foreign minister Prak Sokhonn, has called for a dialog as he ends a four-day visit to Myanmar on Sunday amid the ongoing conflict.

In a Facebook post late on Saturday, Sokhonn urged implementation of the five-point consensus reached between ASEAN leaders and Myanmar military junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.

These points include an end to violence, dialog between the parties facing off each other after the February 2021 military coup, appointment of a special envoy, humanitarian assistance by ASEAN, and the envoy visiting Myanmar.

“I continued to urge for deeper mutual understanding and further compromise among all parties as it is the most practical pathway to return to normalcy and consequently realize long-term peace and stability,” said the Cambodian minister.

Earlier this week Sokhonn met the Myanmar military chief and other leaders of the junta, although it has not been confirmed whether he could meet members of the pro-democracy opposition, including the National League for Democracy, the party of ousted leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Last week Suu Kyi was shifted to a prison in Naypyidaw, where she has been isolated from other inmates, after having been kept under house arrest at an undisclosed location since the coup.

The ASEAN envoy had on Jun. 26 demanded the release of 67-year-old Suu Kyi, considering her delicate health and well-being and highlighted the leader’s key role in returning the country to normalcy as well as towards national reconciliation through a “peaceful political solution.”

Suu Kyi has been sentenced to 11 years in prison on various charges pressed after the coup, while dozens of other cases remain pending against her, with the total possible jail term exceeding 150 years based on the charges.

The military coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, social and economic crisis, while triggering a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that have exacerbated the guerrilla warfare the country has been experiencing for decades.

At least 2,040 people have died as a result of the brutal repression carried out by police and soldiers, who have shot to kill peaceful and unarmed protesters, according to data compiled by the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners. EFE


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