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UN calls for democracy in Myanmar, Says it's the only way to end "nightmare"

UN calls for democracy in Myanmar, Says its the only way to end nightmare

Phnom Penh: United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said the only way to stop the "unending nightmare" engulfing Myanmar is to bring back democracy. He urged the junta to "immediately" restart democracy.

Since a military coup removed democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her civilian government in February 2021, the country has been seeing protests and bloody riots which led to the death of thousands. It was a major topic of discussion at the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc.

Speaking to the media, Guterres said the situation in Myanmar is a threat to peace and security across the region. He urged the authorities of Myanmar to listen to the people and release political prisoners, reported AFP. "Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are horrendous and heartbreaking," he added.

The annual summit began on Friday and it was expected that the escalating violence and political gridlock in Myanmar would dominate the gathering. Cambodian Prime Minister and ASEAN host Hun Sen addressed the opening ceremony with a call for vigilance and wisdom during times of economic and political turmoil. He said the lives of millions in Southeast Asia depend on the leaders' wisdom and foresight, reported Reuters.

A five-point consensus designed to resolve the conflict in Myanmar was agreed upon with the junta in April 2021. It has not been enforced yet because the generals have been ignoring it. ASEAN leaders have once again asked their foreign ministers to come up with a new plan to implement the consensus. A special envoy meeting with opposition groups in Myanmar has also been approved.

Myanmar's junta is not happy with the development as the military generals consider the dissident outfits "terrorists."

Last year, ASEAN barred junta leaders from attending these meetings. Leaders from nine other nations - Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam - are present in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this year. US President Joe Biden, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will also join the summit.

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TAGS:UNUN chiefMyanmarMyanmar juntaAntonio GuterresASEANASEAN summit
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