US, EU add more sanctions as Myanmar violence deepens

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The United States and European Union have announced new sanctions against Myanmar’s military regime aimed at officials, companies and arms dealers, as campaigners urge quicker implementation of the measures given the deepening crisis in the country.

The EU sanctions apply to 19 more individuals and entities, including a minister and chief justice, and are a result of “the continuing escalation of violence and grave human rights violations following the military takeover two years ago”, the European Council said on Tuesday.

The US blacklisted an arms dealer, Kyaw Min Oo, and his Sky Aviator Company.

Kyaw Min Oo has close ties to the Myanmar military and has acted as the middleman to arrange visits to Myanmar by high-ranking foreign military officers, a US Treasury Department statement said.

Sky Aviator has facilitated arms deals on behalf of the Myanmar military, including the importation of aircraft parts, it added.

“Kyaw Min Oo profits from the violence and suffering the military has inflicted on the people of Burma since the military coup,” said Brian Nelson, the Treasury undersecretary for financial intelligence.

Myanmar was plunged into crisis when the armed forces, under Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February 2021.

The military has faced widespread armed resistance to its rule and has responded with brutal force.

More than 2,400 people have been killed in the past two years, according to the monitoring group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, while the UN children’s agency estimates that one million people have been displaced.

The new EU sanctions apply to members of the military, members of the State Administrative Council (SAC) – the body set up by the military to run the country – as well as the judiciary and prisons service.

Agencies

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