Myanmar facing additional EU, UK sanctions over military coup
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Myanmar facing additional EU, UK sanctions over military coup

The European Commission and the UK imposed sanctions Monday on members of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and companies connected to the Myanmar military over the coup d’état that has devastated the country since early February.

The EU sanctioned eight individuals, three economic entities and the War Veterans Organization. The individuals include the Attorney General, Ministers and Deputy Ministers. The EU said they are “responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law and for serious human rights violations in the country.” The entities are under the Tatmadaw’s control or state-owned. The sanctions freeze the individual or company’s assets, ban travel into EU countries and prevent others from funding them.

The EU sanctions imposed over the Myanmar coup total 43 individuals and six entities after Monday’s round of sanctions.

The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the UK sanctions imposed in addition to the EU’s. Three entities were sanctioned under The Myanmar (Sanctions) Regulations 2021. First, the State Administration Council, the Tatmadaw’s ruling body, who Raab said “continue to undermine democracy and brutally suppress Myanmar’s civilians.”

Secondly, the Myanmar Timber Enterprise and Myanmar Pearl Enterprise, both state-owned entities. These sanctions target the military junta’s economy while aiming to avoid unduly harming the country’s civilians. Raab said pearl and timber “generate millions in revenue for the military regime”. The sanctions, which impose an asset freeze, compromise the Tatmadaw’s ability to profit from those resources.

Raab commented:

Alongside our allies, we are placing sanctions on companies linked to Myanmar’s military junta, targeting the finances of this illegitimate regime. The military has continued its subversion of democracy and brutal killing of civilians. We will continue to hold the Junta to account and sanction those responsible, until democracy is restored

It is unclear when the Myanmar coup will end and the country will move into a democratic system. The EU, UK and US have sanctioned key players in an attempt in disenfranchise the Tatmadaw. Ousted leaders have formed a parallel national unity government that they are attempting to have recognized as legitimate. Meanwhile, civilians are living amidst a war. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has urged for violence to immediately cease and for the Tatmadaw to be held accountable.