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Quotes on attack against AHA Centre Convoy

May 10th, 2023  •  Author:   Progressive Voice  •  3 minute read
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Please see below quotes attributable to Khin Ohmar, Founder and Chairperson of Progressive Voice responding to ASEAN’s Leaders’ statement on the recent attack against the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) convoy in Myanmar’s southern Shan State on 9 May 2023.

Khin Ohmar of Progressive Voice says: “The attack on the AHA Centre convoy took place in an area controlled by the Pa-O National Organization, an ethnic militia armed group that acts as a proxy to the military junta. It is highly likely that the Myanmar military junta is behind the recent attack.

“As stated by the ASEAN leaders, ‘perpetrators must be held accountable’. If they are to be taken seriously by the people of Myanmar and the world, ASEAN leaders must take a decisive step now and call on the UN Security Council to impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo against the military and refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. ASEAN leaders must also heed civil society’s calls to review and reframe the Five Point Consensus, remove the junta’s representative from the AHA Centre’s Governing Board and provide humanitarian aid through frontline humanitarian responders, with focus on providing aid through ethnic border regions.

“Why does the AHA Centre, and by extension ASEAN, insist on working in only junta-controlled areas, while those most affected by the junta’s violence have fled to and have been displaced in areas outside the junta’s control? Why not coordinate with the legitimate government of Myanmar, the National Unity Government and the Ethnic Resistance Organizations working in tandem in areas where aid is urgently needed?

“As long as the Myanmar military junta sits on the Governing Board of the AHA Centre, ASEAN’s humanitarian wing cannot operate with any semblance of independence or impartiality. In operating against these vital humanitarian principles, it is only deepening its complicity by lending tactical and political advantage to the Myanmar military junta that is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“By continuing to prioritize their political expediency ahead of our people, ASEAN and the AHA Centre will only further fall into the military junta’s trap to use them in its attempt to delegitimize Myanmar’s legitimate government and resistance movement. Instead of saving its own face, ASEAN must start saving Myanmar people’s lives.”

See the Civil Society Position Paper: Reviewing and Reframing the ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus here

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