Myanmar/Burma: EU extends and strengthens its arms embargo, and adopts a framework for targeted measures against officials responsible for serious human rights violations

April 26th, 2018  •  Author:   Council of the European Union  •  3 minute read
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On 26 April, the Council imposed further restrictive measures on Myanmar/Burma, strengthening the EU’s arms embargo and targeting the Myanmar/Burma army and border guard police officials.

The Council extended the existing embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression for one year. In addition, it prohibited the export of dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police and imposed restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression. The Council also prohibited the provision of military training to and military cooperation with the Myanmar/Burma army.

The Council also adopted a legal framework for targeted restrictive measures against certain persons from the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the border guard police. It will make it possible, should crimes continue to go unpunished, to impose a travel ban and an asset freeze on individuals responsible for:

  • serious human rights violations, for example inciting violence, for discrimination and acts of violence against persons belonging to minorities in Rakhine and for obstructing the voluntary and safe return process of displaced persons from Rakhine State to their place of origin;
  • for obstructing the conduct of independent investigations into alleged serious human violations or abuses;
  • for obstructing the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance for civilians in need.

The decisions adopted today are a direct follow up to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 on the situation in Myanmar/Burma, which called for concrete options for the strengthening of the current embargo and for proposals for targeted restrictive measures against senior military officers of the Myanmar armed forces (Tatmadaw) responsible for serious and systematic human rights violations.

Taking note of the situation, in particular in Rakhine State, which remains extremely serious, the Council condemned ongoing widespread, systematic grave human rights violations committed by Myanmar/Burma military and security forces, including rape and killings, and called upon the Government of Myanmar/Burma and the security forces to ensure that security, the rule of law and accountability prevail in Myanmar/Burma, including in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States.

The legal acts were adopted by the Council by written procedure. They will be published in the Official Journal of 27 April.

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Download this press release HERE.