Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon in Myanmar
Bangkok, Apr 24 (EFE).- Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Myanmar amid a new escalation in violence across the military-ruled country.
Ban Ki-moon landed in the capital Naypyidaw on Sunday.
Deputy defense minister Aung Lin Tun and deputy foreign minister U Kyaw Myo Htut received him at the airport, the military-run The Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Monday.
The former UN chief is a member of the so-called group of “The Elders” founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007 for “peace, justice, human rights, and a sustainable planet.”
Ban’s agenda in Myanmar is unknown but the visit comes amid an escalation of violence in the country that has been under military dictatorship since Feb.1, 2021.
An aerial strike allegedly ordered by the ruling generals left at least 168 dead, including 40 minors, in an opposition stronghold on Apr.11.
It was the bloodiest attack on record since the coup.
Ban’s appearance in Myanmar coincides with increased calls for greater international involvement to resolve the crisis in the Southeast Asian nation.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) parliamentarians’ human rights group Monday urged the regional bloc to take a firmer stance in the face of the failure of its plan agreed upon two years ago.
The five-point consensus reached in April 2021 by ASEAN and Myanmar’s military junta in Jakarta included the immediate cessation of violence and the appointment of a special ASEAN envoy to help facilitate dialog among all parties.
The lack of cooperation from Myanmar authorities even after almost two years since the pact resulted in the Myanmar foreign ministry being excluded from the ASEAN summit between May 6 and 11 in Labuan Bajo (Indonesia). The Myanmar conflict will be at the top of the agenda.
ASEAN, founded in 1967, comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
More than 3,000 people have been killed, 1.3 million forced to flee their homes, and some 16,000 remain in prison since the coup, which ended a decade of democratic transition and plunged the country into a spiral of violence and semi-anarchy. EFE