UK announces new sanctions targeting Myanmar military entities

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced Thursday further sanctions on Myanmar over ongoing human rights violations. This round of sanctions targeted military-linked entities “involved in the repression of the civilian population and serious human rights violations” in the Southeast Asian country.

The British government previously imposed sanctions on 25 individuals and 33 entities in Myanmar. This latest round sanctions included two Myanmar military divisions and two state-owned entities, which “provide economic resources and support to the Myanmar security forces.” Foreign Secretary David Cameron said, “[T]he UK is imposing new sanctions to help stop the military’s access to resources. We are joining with international partners to call for renewed efforts to secure a peaceful and democratic future for Myanmar.”

The move by the UK government comes three years after the 2021 coup in Myanmar, which saw military forces topple the democratically-elected government. The military junta has since ruled the country and engaged in brutal suppression of political opposition, journalists and lawyers as well as carrying out mass killings and torture of citizens. Human Rights Watch previously reported that these crackdowns amounted to crimes against humanity.

The military junta announced on Wednesday that they would be extending the state of emergency which has existed in the country since the coup and has meant that elections have been postponed. Governments of the US, UK, EU and Canada have previously sanctioned the junta, restricting their supply of fuel in an attempt to “curtail its ability to perpetrate atrocities.” However, a report issued by Amnesty International on January 31 asserted that Myanmar has been evading the sanctions and importing aviation fuel by relying on new routes and suppliers.