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US imposes sanctions on Myanmar military officials over coup

12 Feb 2021 (Last Updated February 12th, 2021 12:36)

The US Biden-Harris administration has imposed sanctions on ten current and former Myanmar (formerly Burma) military officials.

The US Biden-Harris administration has imposed sanctions on ten current and former Myanmar (formerly Burma) military officials.

The sanctions are in response to the coup staged by the Burmese military on 1 February. It also follows repeated calls for the military to relinquish power.

Among the ten officials, six of the individuals are members of the National Defense and Security Council and were directly involved in the coup.

The remaining four individuals are members of the State Administration Council (SAC).

US State Secretary Tony Blinken said: “These designations specifically target current or former members of the military who played a leading role in the overthrow of Burma’s democratically elected government.

“They do not target the economy or people of Burma, and we have gone to great lengths to ensure we do not add to the humanitarian plight of the Burmese people. These designations are pursuant to the newly issued Executive Order Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma.”

The US has passed orders to redirect $42.4m of assistance away from Myanmar.

On 1 February, the Burmese military ‘detained a broad cross-section of civilian government leadership, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint’.

The Burmese military also detained civil society leaders, journalists, as well as human right activists.

A White House statement said: “Today’s sanctions need not be permanent. Burma’s military should immediately restore power to the democratically elected government, end the state of emergency, release all those unjustly detained, and ensure peaceful protestors are not met with violence.

“The results of Burma’s 8 November 2020 elections must be respected, and parliament should be convened at the earliest opportunity.”