The Cambodian foreign ministry spokesperson has confirmed that a Southeast Asian special envoy would visit Myanmar in mid-March to initiate a peace process within the country.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Chum Sounry said that Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn’s trip was still being arranged but confirmed reports that a tentative schedule had been set for March 20-23.
Sokhonn, the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), urged Myanmar’s ruling generals to allow him to meet all stakeholders there last month, including its outlawed opponents.
Sounry declined to provide details of who the envoy might meet, but efforts by a previous ASEAN envoy to meet Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi had failed.
Following the military’s deadly crackdown on months of strikes and protests against its coup, heavy fighting has raged in several regions of Myanmar between troops and militias allied with the ousted government, some backed by ethnic minority insurgents.
The junta agreed last year to a five-point ASEAN plan to end unrest in Myanmar, which included ceasing hostilities, allowing humanitarian aid access, and supporting an inclusive peace process, however, the army did not comply.
According to the United Nations, more than 300,000 people have been displaced by the post-coup conflict in Myanmar, with thousands of civilians arrested, beaten, tortured, and killed.
Earlier, the military government accused Western media of biased reporting of events in Myanmar and said it was seeking to protect its people from “terrorists” and had freed more than 48,000 detained protesters.
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