ASEAN at a crossroad as violence escalates in Myanmar

Southeast Asian nations are at a “crossroad”, as escalating violence in junta-controlled Myanmar threatens to overshadow a regional summit, warned Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics, Legal and Security, Mahfud MD. The two-year-long disaster has left Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) diplomatic attempts to resolve it fruitless. Last month, an air strike on a village reportedly killed round a hundred and seventy people, sparking world condemnation and intensifying calls for ASEAN to take action.
According to Mahfud, ASEAN is being examined by crisis after disaster, and the failure to handle them might danger jeopardising its relevance. Human Rights Watch acknowledged that the recent air strike in the central Sagaing area was a “likely warfare crime,” urging ASEAN to assist stronger measures to cut off the military’s cash circulate and press the junta for reform.
Pressure on ASEAN increased when a convoy of automobiles carrying diplomats and officers coordinating ASEAN humanitarian aid in Myanmar was attacked. With international ministers and nationwide leaders continuing their efforts to implement a mediation plan agreed upon two years in the past, the capturing raises the urgency of Myanmar as a key concern at this summit.
Economical stays an ASEAN member however has been barred from top-level summits due to the junta’s failure to implement the peace plan. Despite growing criticism of ASEAN’s inaction, progress is hindered by its constitution rules of consensus and non-interference. Other nations, corresponding to China and individual ASEAN member countries, have tried to resolve the Myanmar disaster. Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo stressed that the resolution should remain “ASEAN-led”..

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