Why is the Myanmar crisis such a challenge for ASEAN?

by | Aug 2, 2022 | World

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in Phnom Penh, a week after Myanmar’s coup leaders executed four opponents in an act that shocked the world.ASEAN criticised the killings, but the National Unity Government (NUG) of elected politicians who were overthrown by the military and coup opponents, as well as rights groups, are calling for more concrete action from the 10-nation group, which admitted Myanmar as a member in 1997.
Myanmar was plunged into crisis when army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power in a coup in February 2021, triggering mass protests and armed resistance.
A few months later, he was invited to a specially-convened ASEAN meeting in Jakarta where a plan to end the violence and help resolve the crisis was agreed.
The military, which calls itself the State Administration Council (SAC), has ignored the so-called Five Point Consensus that was reached, and the death toll in the military’s crackdown on its opponents has risen to more than 2,000 people.
The SAC has also not allowed ASEAN’s special envoy to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically-elected leader they removed in the coup.
“ASEAN member states must recognize that the Myanmar military has become a criminal organization that is holding hostage the whole of the country’s population,” Eva Sundari, a former member of the House of Representatives i …

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