US, UK impose new sanctions against Myanmar military
The United States and the United Kingdom announced new sanctions against the Myanmar military that are intended to coincide with the anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protests following last year’s coup d’etat.
The new measures came days after Washington said it has concluded that Myanmar’s military committed genocide against the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.
“Brutality and oppression have become trademarks of the Burmese military regime’s rule,” U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson said in a statement.
“Treasury is committed to holding accountable those who are responsible for the ongoing violence and repression,” he added.
Washington’s sanctions target two military commanders, an infantry division as well as three businessmen and four businesses. London targeted the new air force chief and a businessman who acts as the honorary consul of Belarus, as well as a businessman and firm that the U.S. sanctioned, among others.
“The Myanmar military has shown no signs of stopping its brutal campaign of violence against the people of Myanmar, who continue in their fight for democracy,” Britain’s Minister for Asia Amanda Milling said.
“These sanctions target those who are instrumental in supplying the military with weapons that facilitate these abuses across the country,” she added.
The measures come as Western nations increasingly punish the military both for the February 2021 coup that saw Aung San Suu Kyi ousted and the violence in 2016 and 2017 against the Rohingya, which Washington earlier this week declared was an attempt to “destroy” the Muslim minority.
They were announced around the one-year anniversary of the military killing of scores of protesters amid protests on Myanmar’s annual Armed Forces Day.
The new U.S. sanctions apply to Brig.-Gen. Ko Ko Oo, and Maj.-Gen. Zaw Hein as well as the 66th Light Infantry Division, which Treasury said has been accused of carrying out a December 2021 massacre in which civilians “were captured, tortured and killed, including some whom members of the military reportedly burned alive.”
Three individuals and two companies were also sanctioned for providing arms to the military, while two firms were targeted for assisting other businesses that had been sanctioned previously.
Britain sanctioned Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Air Force Htun Aung and a company that supports the air force, along with Belarusian Honorary Consul Aung Moe Myint and his company.
They also joined Washington in sanctioning a businessman and his company that the countries said trafficked arms.