JAKARTA, Reuters - The ASEAN chair said Thursday that the bloc "strongly condemned" the military strike on a village in Myanmar this week. It is believed to have killed at least 100 civilians.
Tuesday's attack on the Sagaing region was the most deadly in a string of recent military air attacks. Children were reported to have been among the victims. It has attracted global condemnation.
Myanmar is in chaos after a military coup in the early 2021. This upended a decade-long effort at democratic reform. A bloody crackdown on protests led to an armed struggle against its junta.
Chair Indonesia stated in a statement that "all forms of violence must cease immediately", especially the use of force against civilians.
It stated that this would create the best environment for an inclusive national dialog to find a lasting peaceful solution in Myanmar.
ASEAN and the junta reached a peace agreement in 2021. However, ASEAN members are becoming increasingly frustrated by the military’s inability to stop offensives and open dialog with the resistance movement supported by ethnic minor armies and a shadow National Unity Government. The junta has also declared the NUG a "terrorist" organization.
A spokesperson for the junta said that Tuesday's attack was directed at a ceremony being held by the NUG to honor their Armed People's Defence Force. He added that the attack was meant to restore stability and peace in the region.