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ASEAN Expected to Name Special Envoy to Myanmar

Brunei, 7 June 2021: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is expected to announce a special envoy to Myanmar in the coming days. A high-level delegation visited Myanmar this weekend to discuss the agreements reached at an ASEAN special summit in April. Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Pehin Yusof, whose country is currently ASEAN chair and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi spent Friday and Saturday, 5-6 June, meeting with top officials of the Myanmar junta.

They called for the immediate release of all political prisoners and discussed humanitarian assistance, as well as the appointment and role of a special envoy. Indonesia reiterated the importance of that last week, saying a special envoy was needed to ensure that Myanmar was abiding by the commitments it has made.

Since the coup on 1 February, hundreds of people have been killed in protests. Human rights organisations put the number over 800. Myanmar’s military leader, Min Aung Hlaing, says that number is exaggerated and says the death toll is closer to 300.

At the ASEAN special summit in April, Min Aung Hlaing did agree to an immediate cessation of violence and to the appointment of a special envoy who would steer negotiations towards a political settlement, but there are still talks between both sides in Myanmar about who that special envoy should be. An announcement is expected from ASEAN in the next few days.

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