Indonesian President Joko Widodo Thursday acknowledged that no progress has been made to end the deadly violence in Myanmar.
He made the assessment during the final day of a two-day summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, held in the town of Labuan Bajo on the southeastern island of Flores.
Widodo is chairman of the 10-member regional bloc this year.
Myanmar has been mired in chaos since the military overthrew the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.
The coup immediately triggered demonstrations across the country against the junta, which responded with a brutal crackdown on protesters. More than 3,000 civilians have died at the hands of the military and upwards of 18,000 more have been arrested, according to an independent monitoring group.
The unrest has also evolved into a deadly rural conflict between the military and ethnic rebel groups that have been fighting for decades for greater autonomy.
ASEAN has issued a five-point plan aimed at ending the violence in a deal reached with Myanmar’s military rulers. But the junta has yet to follow through in implementing the plan, which has led to criticism of ASEAN as irrelevant.
Widodo called for unity among the nine ASEAN member nations in attendance to deal with Myanmar. But the group’s charter established its principles of consensus and noninterference into its members’ affairs.
ASEAN has barred Myanmar’s leaders from attending the summits due to the military’s failure to implement the peace plan.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.