Conflicts & War

Indonesia demands ‘immediate appointment’ of ASEAN envoy to Myanmar

Jakarta, Jun 2 (EFE).- Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Wednesday he demands the “immediate appointment” of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Myanmar envoy to address the crisis unleashed by the coup in Myanmar.

“The safety and well-being of the Myanmar people must always be the priority. Inclusive dialogue must be encouraged to resolve the political crisis and restore democracy in Myanmar, in accordance with the popular will,” Marsudi said, referring to the five points of consensus reached during April’s ASEAN summit with junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

The minister also announced the trip to Myanmar in the coming days of the secretary general of the Southeast Asian bloc, Brunei’s Lim Jock Hoi, without specifying a date.

In a press appearance with Josep Borrell, the European Union’s Foreign Policy Representative, Marsudi said Indonesia’s position is to seek a solution to the political crisis in Myanmar, ongoing since the Feb. 1 military coup, through “dialogue between all parties.”

Borrell said he praised Jakarta’s leadership with the aim of “protecting the Myanmar people.”

On Apr. 24, the head of the military junta promised to stop violence against civilians, initiate dialogue between all parties and accept a mediator to resolve the crisis, among other points agreed with political leaders of ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a part.

However, to date, none of these points have been implemented and even Min Aung Hlaing retracted days later, prioritizing “maintaining law and order” over the “suggestions” of the bloc’s leaders.

At least 90 people have lost their lives in Myanmar at the hands of the security forces since that compromise was reached with the junta leader; a figure that exceeds 841 deaths since the coup, according to data from the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners. It says more than 5,570 have been detained, including ousted democratic government leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The army justifies the coup on alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory, as it did in 2015, with the endorsement of international observers. EFE

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