At a summit in China on Monday, Southeast Asian foreign ministers expressed concern with Myanmar’s “extremely poor” progress on its proposal to resolve the instability since the army deposed elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1.
According to state media, junta-appointed Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin told the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ meeting that the military had achieved headway on the country’s own five-step strategy, which was unveiled following the coup.
Since displacing Suu Kyi, the junta has failed to enforce control, with more than 4,500 people jailed since the coup.
According to a rights group, security forces have killed at least 849 protestors, though the army denies this figure, and insurgencies have erupted in numerous provinces.
Concerned by the unrest, numerous ASEAN countries have called for the release of political detainees, an end to the violence, and dialogue between Myanmar’s competitors to resolve the issue – demands echoed in the ASEAN “consensus.”
The junta’s critics have grown more frustrated with ASEAN’s refusal to press the junta and its failure to incorporate other political stakeholders, particularly the deposed government. The junta has labeled its critics “terrorists.”
Myanmar’s junta leader Min Aung Hlaing was quoted by China’s state-run Global Times newspaper as assuring the Chinese ambassador that Myanmar was eager to coordinate the implementation of the agreement.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after Monday’s meeting that China’s assistance would be “very appreciated” since it would help the country reach a peaceful conclusion.