Former President Obama on Monday said he was "appalled" by the violence against civilians in Myanmar following a military coup in February.
"The world’s attention must remain on Myanmar, where I’ve been appalled by heartbreaking violence against civilians and inspired by the nationwide movement that represents the voice of the people," Obama said in a statement. "The military’s illegitimate and brutal effort to impose its will after a decade of greater freedoms will clearly never be accepted by the people and should not be accepted by the wider world."
Ever since the military removed the democratically elected government from power, widespread protests have broken out across Myanmar, leading to hundreds of people, including children, being killed by the military.
Obama voiced his support for the sanctions the Biden administration has imposed on Myanmar's military in response to the violence against civilians. The sanctions have targeted high ranking military members as well as government-owned businesses that support the military regime.
"Myanmar’s neighbors should recognize that a murderous regime rejected by the people will only bring greater instability, humanitarian crisis, and the risk of a failed state," Obama, who spent part of his childhood in Southeast Asia in Indonesia, said.
"These are dark times, but I have been moved by the unity, resilience, and commitment to democratic values demonstrated by so many Burmese, which offers hope for the kind of future Myanmar can have through leaders who respect the will of the people," Obama added.
On Saturday, the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced that it had reached an agreement with Myanmar's military junta in an effort to end the ongoing violence in the country, drafting a "Five-Point Consensus."
The consensus agreed on an "immediate cessation of violence," peaceful solutions in the interest of the people, a mediated dialogue process with a special envoy from the ASEAN Chair, humanitarian aid from ASEAN and a visit by a delegation to meet with concerned parties.