LABUAN BAJO, Indonesia: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said it is “deeply concerned” about the ongoing violence in Myanmar and condemned the recent attack on a convoy delivering humanitarian aid in Myanmar’s Shan State.
The conflict in Myanmar has dominated talks as ASEAN leaders meet in Indonesia.
“We were deeply concerned with ongoing violence in Myanmar and urged the immediate cessation of all forms of violence and the use of force,” ASEAN said in a statement on Wednesday (May 10).
It called for “a conducive environment for the safe and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogues”.
Indonesia and Singapore on Monday condemned the attack on an aid convoy carrying regional diplomats, including two staffers from the Singapore embassy in Yangon.
Few details have been released about the shooting in eastern Myanmar’s Shan State but Singapore and Indonesia said their representatives were unharmed.
“We condemned the attack and underlined that the perpetrators must be held accountable,” ASEAN leaders said in their statement on Wednesday.
“We supported the efforts of the chair of ASEAN, including its continued engagements with all stakeholders in Myanmar, to encourage progress in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus.”
The consensus refers to a peace plan agreed upon between ASEAN and the junta in 2021, months after it overthrew the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. It has yet to be implemented.
Reuters reported that that Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the current ASEAN chair, earlier said the bloc should speak up and speak as one on its most challenging issues. “Will ASEAN only be silent or will ASEAN be able to become the driver or peace or growth?” he said.
At a press briefing on Monday, Mr Widodo had called for “space for dialogue to find a solution together”.
ASEAN has become increasingly assertive with Myanmar’s junta over its failure to implement the Five-Point Consensus and has barred the generals from high-level meetings.
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