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Friday, 15 October 2021 12:12

Strong Steps Are Needed to Overcome the Crisis in Myanmar

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ASEAN's efforts to mediate the conflict in Myanmar are running very slowly, it can even be said to be running in place. Since the ASEAN leaders' meeting, April 24, in Jakarta, none of the five agreed points of consensus have been implemented, except for the appointment of a special envoy. In fact, considering the attitude of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, the implementation of the consensus was like meeting a hard wall.

The five points of consensus to maintain Myanmar's stability have clearly been violated by the Myanmar Junta. The consensus is First, violence must stop immediately in Myanmar and all parties must exercise full restraint. Second, the leaders agreed to hold a constructive dialogue among all interested parties in Myanmar. Third, ASEAN will send a special envoy who will facilitate mediation and the process. dialogue with the assistance of the Secretary General of ASEAN. Fourth, ASEAN will provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Myanmar through the AHA Centre. Fifth, special envoys and ASEAN delegations will visit Myanmar to meet with all relevant parties.

Instead of implementing the agreed consensus, upon arrival in Naypyidaw, the junta leader Min Aung Hlaing turned around. Instead, he applied his own conditions for the implementation of the five consensus. One of them is that the junta will implement the five consensus if the political and security situation has recovered according to its self-determined measure.

Reuters news agency, Thursday (14/10/2021), said the ASEAN Special Envoy for Myanmar Erywan Yusof said the military's failure to act according to the five-point plan was 'akin to a setback'. Erywan Yusof was even barred from meeting with Suu Kyi, who is an important figure in Myanmar's political turmoil.

Regarding the deterioration of the situation in Myanmar, ASEAN foreign ministers convened virtually, Friday 15 October 2021. The meeting discussed the exclusion of Myanmar's junta leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, from the upcoming ASEAN summit. Hopefully, this can be a punishment and harsh criticism for the non-implementation of the five consensus, which ASEAN leaders set in April.

The crisis in Myanmar is very protracted. The intervention of the United Nations, and big powers like the United States and China is needed to address it. This includes countries that support ASEAN's steps in seeking a diplomatic solution. In recent months, pressure has been increasing on ASEAN regarding the need for tougher and firmer measures against Myanmar.

Myanmar has been in political and economic paralysis since the February 1 military coup. This condition triggered an outpouring of anger and protests within the country. Some civilians have even formed militias to confront the powerful army.

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