Indonesia president condemns ‘shootout’ involving ASEAN officials in Myanmar

Indonesia president condemns ‘shootout’ involving ASEAN officials in Myanmar
Members of the Indonesian Navy's special force disembark from their boats during a patrol at the seaport near the main venue of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia, 08 May 2023. EPA-EFE/MAST IRHAM

JAKARTA, May 8 (Reuters) - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo on Monday condemned a "shootout" involving Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) officials delivering humanitarian aid in Myanmar, and called for an end to violence in the strife-torn country.

It was unclear who was behind the incident which, according to Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah, took place in Hsi Hseng township in the western Shan State and targeted officials from the ASEAN humanitarian assistance centre.

Myanmar has been trapped in a spiral of violence and economic turmoil since the military in 2021 overthrew an elected government and launched a brutal campaign to crush dissent.

Intensifying military attacks and clashes with armed resistance movements across the country have prompted calls, including from Myanmar’s ASEAN neighbours, to end all hostilities and allow access for humanitarian aid.

Jokowi, as the Indonesian president is popularly known, did not give details of what he called a “shootout” but said it would not deter efforts by Indonesia and ASEAN to push for peace in Myanmar.

“Stop using force, stop violence because it’s the people who will be victims. This condition will not make anybody win,” he said, adding that Indonesia encourages all stakeholders to have a dialogue and find solutions.

Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government, which is allied with the anti-junta militias, the People’s Defence Forces (PDF), said it was not involved in the incident.

The PDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the Myanmar junta did not respond to a request for comment.

Indonesia has for months been quietly engaging the Myanmar junta, shadow government and armed ethnic groups to try and kick-start a peace process, its foreign minister said last week.

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia, Bernadette Christina, Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Reuters staff; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options