Saturday, September 30, 2023

ASEAN Calls for End of Violence Following Myanmar Air Strike

Jayanty Nada Shofa
April 14, 2023 | 4:59 pm
The silhouettes of the foreign ministers of ASEAN getting off the stage at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Jakarta in Feb. 4, 2023. (Antara Photo/Aditya Pradana Putra)
The silhouettes of the foreign ministers of ASEAN getting off the stage at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Jakarta in Feb. 4, 2023. (Antara Photo/Aditya Pradana Putra)

Jakarta. ASEAN chair Indonesia on Thursday issued a statement condemning the military air strike in the Myanmar village of Pazigyi, with recent reports revealing that the death count had climbed to more than 100 people.

“ASEAN strongly condemns the reported recent air strikes carried out by the Myanmar Armed Forces in Pazigyi village, Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region of Myanmar, that claimed the lives of at least dozens of civilians,” the statement reads.

ASEAN called for an immediate end to all forms of violence, particularly the use of force against civilians. The ASEAN chair said that this would be the “only way” to a conducive environment for inclusive national peace talks.

Despite the deadly air strike, ASEAN is still sticking to the five-point peace plan, which the 10-member group adopted in 2021, to address the Myanmar crisis.


“We reiterate ASEAN’s commitment to continue assisting Myanmar in seeking a workable and durable solution to the ongoing crisis through promoting the full implementation of the Five-Point Consensus,” the statement reads.

Indonesia is this year’s rotating chair of the Southeast Asian bloc. Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said that Indonesia had been engaging with stakeholders in Myanmar. However, Retno did not reveal with whom Indonesia had been in talks.

On Tuesday, the Myanmar Armed Forces launched air strikes targeting the Pazigyi village. The National Unity Government —the Myanmar government in exile— reported that the Pazigyi village massacre death toll had reached 168 people, including 40 children, as of Thursday. 

Aung Myo Min, the human rights minister of the Myanmar National Unity Government, called for the bloc’s leaders to use the 42nd ASEAN Summit to initiate complementary punitive action.

“ASEAN leaders must use their upcoming summit in May 2023 to initiate complementary punitive action. One and a half years have passed without progress. ASEAN Leaders must therefore cut straight to action by banning junta representatives from all ASEAN meetings,” Aung Myo Min wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

The 42nd ASEAN Summit will take place in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, next month. ASEAN previously barred the Myanmar junta from attending its high-level summits after failing to implement the five-point consensus, which calls for an immediate cessation of violence.

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