Burmese military junta challenges ASEAN and the UN



The Burmese military junta is massing tens of thousands of troops and heavy weapons in the north of the country and we fear even more mass atrocities », Launched Friday, October 22 Tom Andrews, the UN rapporteur for human rights in Burma before the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “ Take care of the ongoing disaster with meaningful acts “, He concluded, while the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was to meet in Brunei from October 26 to 28 to try to find a solution to the Burmese crisis.

It remains to be seen whether ASEAN (1) has the political will and the diplomatic means to convince the Burmese military junta to engage in a dialogue in order to find a peaceful end to the civil war which is already spreading throughout the country. Nine months after the military coup of February 1, the army shows no intention of appeasement despite its promises to ASEAN at the summit last April. This is also the reason why ASEAN decided last week, against all odds, not to invite General Min Aung Lhaing, a gesture that was perceived as courageous by the international community.

The junta does not want to make any concessions

The military junta has disrespected ASEAN by not respecting its commitments made last April to engage in dialogue, to accept the visit of a special envoy and to open its borders to it. ‘humanitarian aid », Underlines Phil Robertson, director of the NGO Human Rights Watch in Bangkok. He adds that this “ distrust of ASEAN shows that the junta does not want to give up anything and make no concessions, it is the source of all the problems. It is the very credibility of this union of ten Asian countries that is at stake. “. In retaliation, Asean, which wants to play a central role in the resolution of this conflict, refused to invite Min Aung Lhaing.

The Burmese civil war is calling into question the principles on which ASEAN is founded », Assures David Camroux, researcher at the Center for International Studies and Research (Ceri) at Sciences Po and specialist in South-East Asia. By refusing to invite the head of the junta, he adds, these are the principles of “ consensus “But also” non-interference “Which are undermined, recalling however that Asean is” a club of authoritative or semi-authoritative golfers Which always work together without making waves and which protects its members.

The Burmese army does not want any political solution

It seems that this time the consensus is difficult to preserve within ASEAN. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines form a united bloc against the Burmese military, joined by Singapore (under American pressure), concerned about the international credibility of ASEAN. ” But the Thai military is close to Burma, which remains an obstacle », Analyzes Phil Robertson, who believes that we can not predict the outcome of this summit. Especially since the name of ” Burmese non-political representative That Asean has agreed to receive is still not known, and nothing even says that he will come.

→ READ. Six months after coup, Burma plunges into civil war

There is a gulf between the expectations on this summit and its ability to implement them “, Continues David Camroux who does not hesitate to say that” the international community, the United States, the European Union and even China, have cowardly decided to subcontract the Burmese question to ASEAN, which is not up to the task “. In the eyes of the Burmese military junta, the role of Asean is to save it time to continue repression and militarily control the country. ” Launching a national military offensive at the time of the summit is a provocation by the junta which does not want a political solution », Concludes David Camroux.

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