Conflicts & War

‘Everybody has failed’ Myanmar: UN chief

Phnom Penh, Nov 12 (EFE).- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that “everybody has failed” Myanmar, referring to the crisis in which the country has been plunged since the military coup in February last year.

“The international community as a whole has failed. And the UN is part of international community. It is dramatic to see the suffering of the Myanmarese people,” Guterres told a news conference from Phnom Penh, where he is attending the summit of the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its main partners.

The secretary general said the “systematic violations of human rights are, I would say, absolutely unacceptable and causing enormous suffering to the Myanmarese people.”

On Friday, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo was highly critical of the Myanmar military junta’s immobility in resolving the crisis caused by the uprising and proposed excluding the junta from all ASEAN meetings.

“I believe the Indonesian government will be able to push forward the agenda in a positive way and my special envoy is ready to fully cooperate with the ASEAN envoy in order to be able to create the conditions, to establish, as I mentioned, a democratic transition to let the political prisoners go in freedom and to end the dramatic violations of human rights in Myanmar,” Guterres said.

The bloc, which includes Myanmar and nine Southeast Asian nations, is hesitant to take more forceful measures, as shown by the joint statement issued Friday, in which it insisted on continuing with the five-point consensus reached in April 2021 by the bloc’s leaders and junta chief Min Aung Hlaing.

Little progress has been made on this pact, which includes the cessation of violence against civilians.

ASEAN, founded in 1967, is made up of Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, although the latter does not have a representative at the current summit since the military junta has been excluded due to little progress in the negotiations to resolve the crisis.

The uprising of Feb. 1, 2021 plunged Myanmar into deep political, economic and social crisis that has exacerbated decades of armed conflicts in the country.

At least 2,444 civilians have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. EFE


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