Amnesty international exposes Burma military fuel suppliers – UK must sanction them

November 10th, 2022  •  Author:   Burma Campaign UK  •  3 minute read
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Burma Campaign UK today called on the British government to move swiftly to sanction suppliers of aviation fuel to Burma, following a new report by Amnesty International exposing the aviation fuel supply chain which enables the Burmese military to carry out airstrikes which target civilians.

The new report by Amnesty International, Deadly Cargo: Exposing the Supply Chain that Fuels War Crimes in Myanmar, details the Burmese and international companies involved in the supply of aviation fuel to Burma.

Since the Burmese military launched their attempted coup in February 2021, they have faced widespread peaceful and armed resistance and have increasingly relied on airpower to try to take control of the country. Civilians are being deliberately targeted, including schools, health clinics, religious sites and displaced people who have fled previous attacks.

This has created a human rights and humanitarian catastrophe, with well over a million people forced to flee their homes, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled because of airstrikes or the threat of airstrikes.

“The single most effective thing the British government can do to address the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Burma is to take action to start cutting off the supply of aviation fuel to the Burmese military,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK.

Burmese military aircraft can use standard commercial aviation fuel and have seized this fuel from suppliers in the past, meaning a complete ban on the supply of aviation fuel to Burma is needed. This would not significantly impact international flights as airlines refuel in other countries but would impact domestic flights. Domestic flights are not used for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The British government must:

  1. Sanction Burmese companies involved in the supply of aviation fuel in Burma.
  2. Sanction international companies supplying aviation fuel to Burma.
  3. Impose a complete ban on British companies’ involvement in the supply of aviation fuel to Burma, including services such as insuring vessels and ports supplying aviation fuel, and accreditation and verification services to vessels and infrastructure linked to aviation fuel supply to Burma.

“If the jets can’t fly, they can’t bomb,” said Anna Roberts. “The British government has led the way sanctioning sources of revenue and arms to the Burmese military, now they need to take the lead cutting off the supply of aviation fuel.”

In February the British government warned British companies not to be involved in the supply of aviation fuel to the Burmese military, but nine months later it has still failed to take practical action to enforce a ban.

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