26 September 2022
The European Karen Network, made up of Karen communities from Burma now living in Europe, calls on the European Union to impose a new round of sanctions on the Burmese military.
European Karen communities are deeply disappointed at the slow response of the European Union to the crisis in Burma. While the UK, USA and Canada have introduced regular rounds of new sanctions, the EU hasn’t brought in any new sanctions since February 2022.
Since the Burmese military began their attempted coup in February 2021, they have thrown the full might of their military against the population of Burma, including Karen areas.
In Karen State, the military are using new aircraft and long-range artillery they purchased during the so-called reform process to target villages, schools, and medical centers. More than 370,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and are now internally displaced, mostly hiding in the jungle. Nationwide more than a million people are displaced. There is a humanitarian and human rights disaster, and the European Union is failing to act.
“We call on the European Union to urgently bring in a new round of sanctions targeting arms brokers and sources of revenue to the Burmese military. The European Union must then keep on identifying and sanctioning sources of revenue and equipment to the Burmese military, including aviation fuel and state-owned enterprises which are now funding the military”, said Nan Kyi Aye, Chair of the European Karen Network.
It is not good enough for the European Union to only bring in a new round of sanctions every 6 or 8 months. The Burmese military are killing, bombing and jailing the people of Burma every day.
The European Union has the right policy, acting to help stop sources of revenue, arms and equipment to the Burmese military, but isn’t implementing its own policy at a speed that would make its policy most effective.
“As our Karen people and the people of Burma risk their life and their liberty to free our country, we ask that the European Union do all it can, at no cost to the EU or its member states, to help cut the supply of arms, equipment, and revenue to the Burmese military”, said Nant Helen Buhtoo, Co-Chair of the European Karen Network.