Call to action for Myanmar in crisis after school attack | Political news

Malaysia says Southeast Asian nations must engage with the NUG, as the United Nations Security Council prepares to debate a new resolution to end the violence.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Southeast Asian nations must take a more “inclusive” approach to dealing with the violent crisis caused by Myanmar’s military coup and have an “objective” final goal” is clear.

Sitting with the representative of Myanmar National Unity Government (NUG) At a press conference on Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Saifuddin suggested that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needed to talk to “all stakeholders” in efforts to end the crisis. .

Although ASEAN has banned generals from attending its major summits, Saifuddin is currently the only foreign minister out of a 10-member group that has met with the NUG.

“There is a need for a comprehensive and fair consultation with all stakeholders in Myanmar, including the NUG and NUCC. Then there needs to be a framework with a clear end, including a return to democracy in Myanmar,” Saifuddin said, referring to the government formed by elected politicians who were disqualified. abandoned during the coup and the National Unification Council, which includes the NUG, elected politicians, nationalist political parties and armed groups, and civil society.

NUG spokesman Htin Linn Aung, who appeared with Saifuddin, said: “Myanmars deserve to have their real representatives on the table to make decisions in the region.

Myanmar fell into crisis in February 2021, when the army arrested elected civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and came to power. It has cracked down on any opposition, describing civilian and national armed groups fighting against its rule as “terrorists” and execution of four political prisoners in July.

The military effectively ignored it The 5-point framework mediated by ASEAN That is supposed to end the violence, and Saifuddin said the organization, whose leaders are due to meet in two months, needs to decide if the plan is “still relevant” or “it should be replaced with something better.”

“By the time we meet in November, we have to ask that tough question and we have to have the answers in the meantime,” he said.

School attacked

The press conference came amid reports of at least 13 deaths, including seven children, after an army helicopter hit a school in a monastery complex in central Myanmar.

“They kept firing at the compound from the air for an hour,” the Mar Mar school administrator told the AP news agency. “They didn’t stop even for a minute. All we could do at that time was chant the Buddha’s name.”

The NUG accused the military of “targeted attacks” on schools, and called for the release of 20 students and teachers they said were captured in the air strike.

According to the Association to Support Political Prisoners, nearly 2,300 people have been killed by the military since the coup.

Children's school books are strewn on a blood-stained floor at a school in the Sagaing region of Myanmar that was attacked by an army helicopter.
A child’s backpack and school books at a school in Myanmar were attacked by the army on Friday [Reuters via social media]

Save the Children says there were about 190 documented violent attacks on schools after the coup in 2021, compared with 10 years earlier.

Amid continued attacks, the United Nations Security Council will consider a UK-drafted resolution – issued on Friday – demanding an end to all violence in Myanmar, calling for calls for an immediate end to arms transfers to Myanmar and threatens the United Nations. sanctions.

It will also call on the military to release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, to implement the ASEAN peace plan and enable a democratic transition.

To pass, the resolution would need at least nine votes in favor and none of the five permanent members exercising their veto. Russia, which has veto power, has continued to show its support for the military President Vladimir Putin met Army Commander Min Aung Hlaing earlier this month.

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