The Philippines President acknowledged ASEAN’s commitment but deems the issue complex, emphasising the humanitarian impact…reports Asian Lite News
The military-ruled Myanmar conflict poses challenges for Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to Philippines President Bongbong Marcos, who cited a slow progress towards a resolution and escalating fighting.
In a live-streamed forum, Marcos acknowledged ASEAN’s commitment but deems the issue complex, emphasising the humanitarian impact.
Over a million displaced since the 2021 coup, with ASEAN’s efforts hindered by the junta’s crackdown.
Marcos noted the growing strength of the resistance movement and ASEAN’s exclusion of top generals until commitment to the peace roadmap.
The Philippines, set to chair ASEAN in 2026, faces its own challenges with citizens impacted by the conflict’s humanitarian toll and human trafficking.
More than 26,000 from Myanmar’s Rakhine state have been displaced since Monday after fresh fighting between Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Arakan Army (AA) according to the United Nations.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in a statement that the latest figures bring the total number of internally displaced people due to conflict between the two sides to approximately 90,000.
Notably, 11 deaths and over 30 injuries have been reported since an informal ceasefire agreed a year ago broke on November 13, the statement read.
It added that over 100 people have reportedly been detained by the MAF and five by the AA, CNN reported.
Battles between the military and resistance groups have unfolded almost daily across Myanmar since Army General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in February 2021, plunging the country into economic chaos and fresh civil war, according to CNN.
The most recent fighting began when the AA reportedly attacked two border posts near the Maungdaw township, which is near the border with Bangladesh.
The two parties had previously established an informal ceasefire in November 2022, according to the UN body.
It added that there have been reports of MAF shelling in AA-controlled areas and that the military had conducted at least one operation backed by air and naval support.
Most humanitarian activities have been suspended due to the fighting and “virtually all roads and waterways” between Rakhine townships have been blocked, CNN reported citing the statement..
Airstrikes and ground attacks on what the MAF calls “terrorist” targets have occurred regularly since 2021 and killed thousands of civilians, including children, CNN reported citing monitoring groups.
Meanwhile, around 5000 people from Myanmar have entered the Indian state of Mizoram following a fresh airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas along the Indo-Myanmar border.
In the wake of the situation. India has called for the end of violence after an airstrike at the Indo-Myanmar border and emphasised the resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue.
“Our position on the ongoing situation in Myanmar is very clear. We want secession of the violence and the resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue. We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability and democracy in Myanmar,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday in a weekly briefing.
Bagchi further emphasised that, as a result of fighting in the Rikhawdar area, which is opposite Zokhawthar on the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, in the Chin state of Myanmar, “there has been a movement of Myanmar nationals to the Indian side. We are deeply concerned with such incidents close to our border.”
“We reiterate our call for the return of peace, stability and democracy in Myanmar,” Bagchi stressed.
According to Reuters, Myanmar’s military junta is facing its biggest test since taking power in a 2021 coup after three ethnic minority forces launched a coordinated offensive in late October, capturing some towns and military posts.
Last week, the military-installed president said that Myanmar was at risk of “breaking apart” because of an ineffective response to the rebellion. As per Reuters, the new combat will be another blow for the junta, which is increasingly stretched amid mounting armed opposition, fuelled by anger over the coup and crackdown. (with inputs from ANI)
‘75 Myanmar Army Personnel Repatriated From Mizoram’
Following the recent fights between the rebel groups and military junta in the bordering areas of Myanmar’s Chin State, the situation is still tense in Mizoram. Mizoram police, Assam Rifles have deployed adequate security along the bordering areas.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Mizoram DGP Anil Shukla said that following the incident, 75 Myanmar army personnel entered Mizoram and they have been taken back to Myanmar.
“Last week, there was a major fight between the rebel forces and military junta in Myanmar leading to overrun by rebels. Because of the fight, a large number of villagers of the Kawmoi village, next to Zokhawthar, have crossed over into India temporarily,” said DGP Shukla.
“Two major camps were overrun and because of that around 75 Myanmar army personnel entered Mizoram. We rescued them and also handed over them to our border guarding force Assam Rifles. They have been taken back to Myanmar,” he added.
Speaking about the Myanmar refugees who entered Mizoram following the recent incident in Myanmar, the Mizoram DGP said that most of the refugees who had come last week have returned.
“Some of them are still there because of lurking fear in their villages. But the situation is much better now,” DGP Shukla said.
Further speaking about the current situation along the international border and deployment of security personnel, the Mizoram DGP said that the Mizoram police have deployed adequate security.
“We are in coordination with Assam Rifles. We had rescued a number of persons. We have also admitted the injured persons in the local Champhai hospital and some of them have also been taken to Aizawl Civil Hospital,” said DGP Shukla.
“The security situation there remains slightly tense, but it is under control. There is no problem as of now,” he added.
A number of Myanmar nationals fled from their country following the recent airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas of the country.
Around 500 people from Sekan village crossed over the border and entered the Zokhawthar area, which is the nearest village in Champhai district and shares an unfenced border with Myanmar.
According to the villagers of Sekan village, almost all houses in the village were burnt down by the Myanmar army and they lost everything. (ANI)