To: Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs / Vice-President of the European Commission
Foreign Ministers of the EU member states
29 September 2022
EU must introduce a new round of sanctions against the Myanmar military
Your Excellencies will be aware of the horrific human rights violations that have taken place in Myanmar since the military coup last year.
Severe violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, are occurring on a daily basis. More than a million people are now displaced internally, and more than 15,000 people are detained arbitrarily. Military tribunals have handed down extremely harsh verdicts, including the death sentence.
The people of Myanmar continue to resist the military junta in the face of air and ground attacks on villages, mass arrests, severe repression, and the use of the death penalty for the first time in decades. They believe that there will be no positive future for their country for as long as the military remain in power, and have been calling for international action to cut off the supply of revenue and arms to the Myanmar military.
The people’s unwavering commitment to struggle for their freedoms is being paid for with lives. However, the European Union (EU), which initially surpassed other countries in sanctioning the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), has now fallen behind in sanctioning arms brokers.
The military junta is currently using aerial bombardment on an unprecedented scale. Airstrikes are a major driver of displacement and have occasioned a humanitarian crisis. Sanctioning the suppliers of parts, ammunition, and aviation fuel alongside further revenue sources could save lives by reducing the military’s ability to wage war on civilians from the air.
It is now seven months since the EU introduced new sanctions against the Myanmar military, and there is an urgent need for further sanctions, including against the numerous arms brokers exposed by the advocacy group Justice for Myanmar.
May I, therefore, urge you to expedite the introduction of new sanctions, targeting the sources of arms, equipment, and revenue of the Myanmar military.
Mervyn Thomas CMG
CSW Founder President