Myanmar slapped with new EU sanctions

Myanmar slapped with new EU sanctions
Credit: Belga

The EU on Monday issued sanctions against Myanmar’s energy minister, influential businessmen and high-ranking military officers, as punishment for their responsibility in the two-year post-coup crackdown on the opposition.

The new round of EU sanctions targets nine individuals and seven entities linked to the ruling regime. Their assets in the EU have been frozen and no European funding can be given to them.

The EU decision follows similar sanctions adopted by the US and UK two years after the military coup and a violent crackdown on opposition activists.

New sanctions' hit list includes Energy Minister, Armed Forces Chief of Staff

The sanctions hit Energy Minister Myo Myint Oo, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, the head of the Navy, and the heads of three companies supplying arms to the military.

The EU also sanctioned officials in the Rangoon region involved in the execution of four democracy activists in July 2022 and officials in Kachin State, where “air strikes, massacres, raids and arson” were carried out.

The EU had already sanctioned 93 individuals and 18 entities since the 1 February 2021 coup that toppled the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Two years after the military seized power, the EU’s diplomatic chief had expressed concern in late January that the regime was escalating violence and that the situation was stalling, evolving “into a long-term conflict across Myanmar.”

At least 17.6 million people need humanitarian assistance

Persecution, sexual violence and the destruction of essential civilian infrastructure are part of the arsenal put in place to stifle any hint of democratic opposition, the EU said.

The Union continues to advocate at the international level for a coordinated and total arms embargo on Myanmar, an issue on which the UN Security Council does not agree.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that at least 17.6 million people in Myanmar are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Fighting since the coup has displaced more than a million people inside the country, while another 70,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.

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