US, UK, Canada sanctions target Myanmar air force, ‘arms dealers’ | Military News

New sanctions were imposed when the generals took power in February 2021, the coup continued to hit civilians.

The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have coordinated to impose new sanctions on Myanmar, with a focus on senior military officials, including newly appointed air force commanders and others. involved in the arms trade in response to the military’s brutal crackdown on opponents. its rules.

The US sanctions targeted three businesses allegedly dealing in Myanmar arms and their affiliated companies, and two businesses controlled by sanctioned arms dealer Tay Zaw.

The US also imposed measures against the 66th Light Infantry Division, an army unit blamed burned alive about 30 civilians in their cars in the southeastern state of Kayah on Christmas Eve last year.

“We took these actions today in response to the regime’s escalating violence, to show our strong support for the people of Burma and to promote accountability for the liberation of the country. processes related to the coup and the violence perpetrated by the regime,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “We will continue to impose costs on the military regime and its supporters until it ends the violence and restores Myanmar’s path to democracy.”

The The UK has taken action against arms dealers and companies focused on finding and supplying weapons to the air force, which was involved in bombing civilian villages, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. their.

Those correctly identified include the air force, General Htun Aung, who is also a director of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL), a important military corporation.

“The Myanmar military shows no sign of stopping its campaign of brutal violence against the people of Myanmar, who continue to fight for democracy,” UK Minister for Asia Amanda Milling said in a statement. . “These sanctions target those who supply weapons to the military to facilitate these abuses across the country. Working with like-minded nations, the UK will always defend freedom, democracy, the rule of law and hold accountable this repressive, brutal regime.”

Canada, meanwhile, has added four individuals – including Htun Aung – and two companies to black list.

Since taking power from Myanmar’s elected government on February 1, 2021 and arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the generals have waged a brutal campaign against those who oppose the rule of law. its rule, targeting peaceful protesters as well as civilians. More than 1,700 people have been killed in the crackdown, according to the Association to Support Political Prisoners, which is monitoring the situation, and thousands have been forced from their homes as a result of the airstrike.

Mark Farmer, British Burma Campaign Director, said in a statement: “Stopping the Burmese military air strikes is the most pressing priority and it is good to see the British government begin the targeting process. spend on air force suppliers. The attacks took place almost every day.

Earlier this month, in its first detailed assessment of the situation, the United Nations accused the military of commit war crimesincluding the indiscriminate torture and killing of civilians in an attempt to resist its rule.

A report Thursday from Fortify Rights and the Schell Center said the military and police had instructions to intentionally shoot at civilians. It recommended 61 senior military officials be investigated for ‘crimes against humanity’.

The new sanctions come the same week that the United States announced that it had identified the 2017 crackdown on the predominantly Muslim Rohingya people, which brought about 750,000 people across the border to Bangladesh, as one genocide.

Rohingya campaigners also welcomed the new measures and called on countries to further expand sanctions.

Tun Khin, president of the UK’s Rohingya Foundation, said: “Cutting off revenue and arms for the military is essential, so these new sanctions are welcome.” “The US, UK and Canada have the right strategy in punishing their militaries and allies, but sanctions are coming too slowly. They need to speed up sanctions and expand the scope to include revenue from gas and aviation fuel.”

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