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Brunei Diplomat Appointed ASEAN’s Special Envoy to Myanmar


FILE - Brunei's Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Yusof addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 30, 2019.

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asan Nations have appointed Brunei diplomat Erywan Yusof as its special envoy to military-ruled Myanmar.

The 10-member regional bloc has tasked Erywan, his country’s second foreign minister, with the goal of mediating an end to the 7-month-old crisis that began when the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and her civilian government, just three months after her National League for Democracy party scored a landslide victory in general elections.

The military junta claimed widespread electoral fraud as a reason for overthrowing Suu Kyi’s government. The takeover triggered anti-coup demonstrations across the country, which the military responded to by launching a brutal crackdown that has left more than 900 protesters and bystanders dead, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which tracks casualties and arrests in Myanmar.

The chaos has been aggravated by the increasing numbers of coronavirus infections, which has overwhelmed Myanmar’s health care system.

ASEAN has been pressured by the international community to lead efforts to bring an end to the violence in Myanmar, one of its member states.

Myanmar’s ruling State Administrative Council said Sunday it has become a caretaker government and its leader, Min Aung Hlaing, is to be prime minister.

The announcement came after Min Aung Hlaing repeated his pledge to hold multiparty elections at an unspecified future date.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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