NUG Criticizes EU and ASEAN for Failing to Take Action Against Myanmar Regime

By The Irrawaddy 20 December 2022

Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG) has criticized the leaders of the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for failing to take any new effective action to address the Myanmar crisis at their summit last week.

On Monday, the NUG’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that EU-ASEAN leaders had failed to support the NUG as the legitimate representatives of the Myanmar people, as well as failing to condemn the junta’s atrocities against civilians.

The EU-ASEAN summit was held in Brussels, Belgium. It issued a statement on December 14 calling for the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar, the release of all political detainees and for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance to all persons in need without discrimination.

EU-ASEAN leaders also denounced the military regime’s execution of four pro-democracy activists in July, while calling on the ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar to build confidence and trust and to be allowed full access to all parties concerned.

The summit also highlighted the regime’s commitment to the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus peace plan, which coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing agreed to last year but has failed to implement.

“While these calls are welcome, they are not new and significant opportunities were missed,” said the NUG’s foreign affairs ministry.

However, the EU-ASEAN statement does make a notable commitment to redouble collective efforts towards a peaceful solution in Myanmar that reflects a continued commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, the ministry added.

The NUG said also that the EU-ASEAN commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms must respect the democratic will of the Myanmar people by upholding the results of the 2020 general election, and block all attempts by the junta to hold a sham election next year.

It also urged the EU and ASEAN to support the Federal Democracy Charter and to reject the junta’s unlawful state of emergency. The NUG also called for concrete action to dismantle the junta’s capacity for inflicting further atrocities on civilians, including imposing sanctions on jet fuel suppliers to the regime, and to step up the diplomatic pressure on the junta to stop it from executing more political prisoners.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since last year’s coup. Clashes between resistance groups and the Myanmar military are occurring daily.

At the same time, the junta has been escalating its atrocities including the arbitrary killing of civilians, burning people alive, extrajudicial executions of resistance detainees, massacres, using civilian detainees as human shields, as well as looting and burning houses, artillery and airstrikes on residential areas and acts of sexual violence.

As of Monday, 2,614 people have been killed by junta forces while 16,563 others including elected government leaders have been arrested or detained, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been monitoring deaths and arrests since the coup.