US and allies increase sanctions in remembrance of the coup in Myanmar
US and allies increase sanctions in remembrance of the coup in Myanmar

Washington: On Tuesday, in observance of the two-year anniversary of a military coup, the United States and its allies increased sanctions against Myanmar by placing restrictions on, among other people, energy officials and junta members.

According to a Treasury Department statement, Washington imposed sanctions on the Union Election Commission, mining companies, and energy officials among others. Reuters broke the news of the decision's specifics first.

According to the current Myanmar sanctions programme, it is the first time that the US has singled out Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) officials.

Also Read: Black police beating a black man is blamed on white supremacy

Sanctions were also announced by the UK, Australia, and Canada.
After five years of tense power-sharing under a military-created quasi-civilian political system, Myanmar's top generals staged a coup in February 2021, ushering in a decade of unprecedented change.

Since the coup, Myanmar has been in chaos, with a resistance movement fighting the military on several fronts following a bloody crackdown on opponents that resulted in the reimposition of Western sanctions.

The managing director and deputy managing director of MOGE, which according to Treasury is the state-owned company that generates the most revenue for the junta.

Sanctions against MOGE have been demanded by human rights activists, but Washington has so far refrained. Washington also named the Union Minister of Energy, who according to Treasury represents Myanmar's government in domestic and international energy sector engagements and is in charge of the state-owned companies that produce and export oil and gas.

Also Read: Brazil offers a solution to the conflict in Ukraine

Washington also imposed sanctions on the Union Election Commission, Mining Enterprise No. 1 and Mining Enterprise No. 2, both state-owned businesses.

The junta announced strict requirements for parties on Friday, including a significant increase in their membership, in a move that could marginalise the military's rivals and strengthen its hold on power. Elections are scheduled for August.

If opponents of the military continue to be met with violence, the election would go against the wishes of the people, according to a statement from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Many significant political players have stated their intention to boycott the elections, which he claimed would be neither inclusive nor representative and almost certainly lead to more bloodshed.

The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, defeated the Union Solidarity and Development Party, a military proxy stacked with former generals.

In the coup, thousands of NLD members—including Suu Kyi—were detained or imprisoned, and many more are currently missing. In November, the NLD labelled this year's election as "phoney" and declared that it would not be recognised. Western governments have also discredited the election as a fraud.

According to the Treasury, Washington also targeted current and former Myanmar military leaders, accusing the Air Force of continuing airstrikes against pro-democracy forces that have resulted in the deaths of civilians.

In its action, Canada targeted six people and forbade the export, sale, supply, or shipment of aviation fuel. Australia targeted a military-run business and junta officials.

The United Kingdom blacklisted two businesses and two individuals for supplying aviation fuel to Myanmar's air force, which was then used to conduct bombing campaigns against its own people.

Also Read: White House makes Covid's emergency plan public

Even with the action taken on Tuesday, according to Human Rights Watch's Asia advocacy director John Sifton, the United States has not yet matched the tougher sanctions put in place by the European Union, especially in regards to natural gas revenue and banks that handle foreign payments for the extractive sector.

Because of this, Sifton stated in a statement, "the measures taken so far have not imposed enough economic pain on the junta to compel it to change its conduct."

Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News