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Newsline: ASEAN diplomats, relief convoy attacked in Myanmar

A convoy including diplomats representing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on a mission to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced people in strife-torn Myanmar has been ambushed, state media and a member of an ethnic minority militia said Monday. State-run television MRTV reported that the attack on the convoy with delegates from the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance and the Indonesian and Singaporean embassies occurred Sunday in eastern Shan state and was carried out by “terrorists.” The report did not say which organization the “terrorists” were from. The military government uses the term “terrorists” for a wide range of forces opposed to military rule. The report said the gunmen opened fire with small arms and the security team accompanying the convoy returned fire. A security vehicle was damaged, but no one in the convoy was injured, it said. (https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/asean-relief-convoy-attacked-in-myanmar-no-casualties/) The “heinous” attack made it more difficult for displaced people as the government tries to improve relations with other countries to alleviate the situation, the report said. MRTV said the government is cooperating in providing humanitarian assistance under a Five Point Consensus reached by ASEAN in 2021 in an effort to help restore peace in Myanmar after the army seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021. The military government has not implemented most parts of the consensus, which calls for an immediate end to violence in Myanmar, dialogue among all parties, the appointment of a special envoy, humanitarian assistance by ASEAN, and a visit by the special envoy to Myanmar to meet with all parties. Its failure to carry out the agreement has caused ASEAN to bar Myanmar’s military leaders from its top-level meetings.

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