Myanmar’s shadow gov’t calls for international help against junta

Bangkok, Jul 11 (EFE).- Myanmar’s shadow pro-democracy government on Tuesday called for more sanctions against the military junta, which it accuses of increasing attacks against civilians, and said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cannot solve the country’s crisis without help of the international community.

Within the framework of the meetings of foreign ministers from ASEAN and external partners this week in Jakarta, a spokesman for Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), made up of pro-democracy politicians and activists, told EFE that the situation in the country has worsened not only since the February 2021 coup, but as recently as the past six months.

“With no adequate action from the international community, the military junta has been emboldened to continue further what constitutes crimes against humanity with total impunity,” said the NUG via email. “Over the past six months, the military has escalated its brutal and destructive tactics.”

The shadow government, formed shortly after the 2021 coup by deposed parliamentarians and ethnic leaders, denounced that the military junta is acquiring weapons and ammunition on the international market, “resulting in an alarming increase in the targeting and killings of innocent civilians and the destruction of villages, schools, hospitals and religious buildings.”

In this sense, he welcomed sanctions against the junta approved by the European Union, the United States and other countries, but added that more of these measures are required against the military led by General Min Aung Hlaing.

The NUG also called for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2669 passed last year, which called for an end to the violence and the release of political prisoners, including deposed de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

ASEAN agreed on a so-called Five Point Consensus with Min Aung Hlaing in April 2021, which included an end to violence, the delivery of humanitarian aid and inclusive dialogue, but the NUG pointed out the lack of progress in its implementation and the division within the bloc.

Since the signing of that pact, the junta has increased attacks against civilians and has prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid in various areas of the country.

While ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have been tougher on the military junta, which is excluded from the bloc’s main meetings due to its lack of commitment to peace, others such as Thailand and Cambodia have leaned towards normalizing diplomatic contact with the Myanmar generals.

“The approach adopted by these countries is not in line with the ASEAN Five Point Consensus but aligns more with the military junta’s roadmap,” said the NUG, which added that any election held under the military junta would be a “sham.”

The NUG said that it maintains communication with ASEAN through a representative, but did not to respond to a question about whether it has any contact with China, the main ally of the military junta along with Russia.

The coup, which overthrew the democratic government headed by Suu Kyi, plunged Myanmar into deep political, social and economic crises and has opened a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that have exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare.

At least 3,770 people have died in the brutal crackdown by security forces, and more than 19,400 remain in detention, according to data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

ASEAN, founded in 1967, is made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

On Thursday and Friday, the bloc’s foreign ministers meet with their counterparts from countries such as the United States, Russia, China and the European Union, among others. EFE


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