Indonesia and UN to discuss call from Resistance groups and NUG for ASEAN/UN collaboration in cross-border Humanitarian Aid

The Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs) and the National Unity Government (NUG) have issued a joint statement, urging ASEAN to cooperate with the United Nations and external partner organizations in order to provide more humanitarian aid to Myanmar.

It is reported that Indonesia the current chairman of Asean and the UN have both expressed interest in the border- aid proposal to cope with the current IDP humanitarian crisis which will be considered by the AHA – the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management at the end of May.

The statement delivered to Indonesian President reads,” It will not be feasible for the AHA Centre or any of the humanitarian aid deliverers to reach the vast majority of Myanmar civilians in need, without the involvement and cooperation of the EROs [ethnic resistance organizations], and NUG-affiliates on the ground,” the letter said.

The proposal, spearheaded by the shadow government and three key ethnic resistance groups, was discussed on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit in Indonesia that wrapped up Thursday.

On May 7, an unidentified armed group attacked a convoy carrying some ASEAN diplomats and representatives of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) who came to deliver humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Hsi Hseng Township, Shan State. The convoy was attacked in Nangaw village before reaching Hsi Hseng Township. A joint statement was issued on May 10 in response to the incident.

The AHA group was attacked in ethnic Pa-O and PNLO in alliance with the Junta in the Shan State. Although this ethnic group has denied the allegations, resistance sources said the attack was planned by regime-linked militia to “disrupt and frighten, though not kill” foreign relief workers.

The new humanitarian aid proposal explained Karen spokesperson Saw Sah Kadah Paw Soe “In the past, there were people helping IDPs, whether from across the border or from within the country At that time, there were not so many IDPs. Since the needs of the existing IDP population are beyond what we can help, we intend to strengthen the existing cross-border assistance.”

The joint statement was released by the Karen National Union (KNU), Chin National Front (CNF), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the National Unity Government (NUG).

In the joint statement, it was emphasized that the high rate of armed violence in the country stemmed from the arbitrary power seizure by the Military Council.

The statement further asserted that the attack on the convoy was executed by an armed group associated with the Military Council. This incident served as a reminder of the utmost importance of conducting relief operations in a safe and secure manner.

Furthermore, the joint statement added that the Military Council deliberately targeted civilian areas that were not military targets, resulting in numerous casualties.

It highlighted that over 1.5 million people across the country were in dire need of humanitarian aid. The statement underscored that Myanmar was currently confronting a severe humanitarian disaster caused by the Military Council’s imposition of blockades and restrictions.

Therefore, the joint statement urged ASEAN to enhance its cooperation not only with the United Nations but also with external partner organizations to provide the much-needed assistance required in Myanmar.

Moreover, the joint statement highlighted that the Karen National Union (KNU) has conducted an analysis over the past year, indicating that aid can only be effectively delivered along Myanmar’s eastern and western borders. The statement emphasized that the delivery of aid necessitates careful consideration of timing, temporary ceasefire negotiations, and robust aid monitoring processes.

“We are asking international organizations to monitor domestic human rights violations and not to be attacked while providing humanitarian aid. Some international organizations have contacted us to offer assistance, but at the moment we have not made a comprehensive plan and these are recommendations,” added Saw Sah Kadah Paw Soe, spokesperson regarding the statement.

The statement strongly affirmed that the Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs) and the National Unity Government (NUG) have been steadfastly fighting to defend the rights of democracy activists who have faced oppression at the hands of the Military Council since the military takeover. It wholeheartedly welcomed the valuable efforts of the AHA Centre in providing assistance.

In the joint statement, it was emphasized that Myanmar’s humanitarian crisis has gained significant international attention. Over the past year, Myanmar has actively urged the international community to convene a humanitarian forum that includes all relevant countries. Furthermore, Myanmar has persistently advocated for this forum within ASEAN and the United Nations, resulting in the reception of broader support.

According to reports from Indonesia, The proposal will be discussed among representatives of the resistance, the U.N. and disaster relief officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the end of May.

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