Asean peace envoy meets Myanmar junta on visit opponents deride as ‘shameful’

Cambodia’s International Minister Prak Sokhonn talks throughout his information convention after the ASEAN international ministers’ assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, February 17, 2022. REUTERS/Cindy Liu/File Picture

A Southeast Asian peace envoy met Myanmar’s army rulers on Monday on his first journey to the crisis-hit nation, a visit opposition teams denounced for exhibiting deference to the leaders of final yr’s coup and disdain for the desire of the folks.

Prak Sokhonn, particular envoy for the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), started his three-day visit with talks with junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, however Asean chair Cambodia declined to say who else he plans to satisfy in Myanmar.

The journey comes amid frustration in ASEAN over the junta’s failure to honour its dedication final yr to a five-point Asean “consensus” to finish hostilities and begin a peace course of.

Asean has responded by barring the generals from its summits and Cambodia is hopeful it might lay the groundwork for dialogue between all sides.

Myanmar spiralled into chaos after a coup 13 months in the past, which ignited protests and strikes nationwide, and battle within the countryside between troops and armed teams angered by the army’s use of deadly drive in opposition to civilians.

Myanmar’s state-run MRTV in its nightly bulletin confirmed Prak Sokhonn and Asean’s secretary-general Lim Jock Hoi assembly the junta’s chief and later eating with its international minister, Wunna Maung Lwin.

MRTV stated Min Aung Hlaing informed the envoy his army council was cooperating on the Asean settlement and attempting to revive peace and order, however his nation was beneath assault and beset by lawlessness.

Myanmar’s international ministry in a press release stated Wunna Maung Lwin defined to Prak Sokhonn the Asean peace course of have to be “Myanmar-owned and Myanmar-led”.

The visit comes every week after the United Nations stated the military had been partaking in systematic abuses that amounted to warfare crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity. The military has but to reply.

In response to some Myanmar media, Prak Sokhonn will meet unspecified political events, however talks with representatives of ethnic minority armies had been cancelled.

Radio Free Asia stated he would meet representatives of deposed chief Aung San Suu Kyi’s former ruling social gathering, lots of of members of which have been arrested. Reuters couldn’t attain the social gathering for affirmation.

On Monday, a gaggle known as the Common Strike Coordination Physique, in a press release on behalf of 36 civil society teams, complained that suggestions by Asean members had been ignored by an envoy who was advocating for Myanmar’s junta.

“The visit to Myanmar by the Asean envoy showed no respect on the voices and demands from the people of Myanmar,” it stated, calling Asean “shameful”.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Monday Myanmar’s military had dedicated genocide and crimes in opposition to humanity in opposition to the Rohingya minority in 2017, and for the reason that coup was utilizing the identical techniques.

Myanmar authorities, on the time led by Suu Kyi, stated they had been battling an insurgency and denied systematic atrocities.

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