Leaders of ASEAN denounce the armed assault on the humanitarian convoy in Myanmar
Leaders from Southeast Asia criticized an armed assault on an aid convoy that a regional organization had organized for refugees in Myanmar, and they demanded on Wednesday that the military administration put an end to the bloodshed and abide by a peace plan.
At the beginning of a two-day summit, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered in southern Indonesia’s scenic harbor town of Labuan Bajo. As the area is being battered by major-power competition and the global economic downturn, their host, President Joko Widodo, urged for cooperation.
Additionally, the 10-nation group is under pressure to handle the situation affecting member country Myanmar.
Over the weekend, unidentified individuals wielding handguns opened fire on a vehicle transporting Indonesian and Singaporean diplomats as well as supplies for displaced people in Myanmar’s eastern Shan state. According to state-run news station MRTV, a security squad in the convoy opened fire, damaging a vehicle but without injuring anyone.
After a protracted evaluation, Indonesia, which is this year’s ASEAN chair, made arrangements for the help to be delivered.
The ASEAN leaders issued a joint statement on Wednesday in which they “condemned the attack and underscored that the perpetrators must be held accountable.”
The senior general of Myanmar, a member state, was not invited to the summit for the second consecutive year. In February 2021, he and his army brutally overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in a coup that turned into civil war, causing ASEAN to experience its worst crisis since its foundation in 1967.
The leaders of ASEAN stated that they were “deeply concerned” about the violence that was still taking place in Myanmar and “urged the immediate cessation of all forms of violence and the use of force to create a conducive environment for the safe and prompt delivery of humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogues.”
Concerning Myanmar further, Indonesian officials said on Sunday that 20 of its citizens who had been smuggled into the country and made to engage in online fraud had been released from the Myawaddy township and sent to the Thai border over the weekend.
A draft of the joint statement, which the ASEAN leaders intended to read during the summit to convey their alarm about such human trafficking schemes, was acquired by The Associated Press.