Burma Campaign UK today welcomed new sanctions announced by the British government, this time focused on perpetrators of sexual violence.
The British government has announced the following sanctions:
The Office of the Chief of Military and Security Affairs has been sanctioned because of its responsibility for the use of torture, including sexual violence, against human rights and democracy activists who are illegally detained in Burma.
Light Infantry Divisions 99 and 33 have belatedly been sanctioned for their use of sexual violence during the military offensives against the Rohingya more than six years ago.
“These new sanctions are welcome, but the pace of implementation of sanctions is far too slow,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “There were reports of sexual violence against arrested protesters in March 2021, and the mass rape of Rohingya women took place in 2016 and 2017. Why is there such a big time-lag between these crimes and the sanctions? Ministers must allocate more resources to swiftly implementing targeted sanctions. There are numerous companies funding the Burmese military which haven’t been sanctioned yet. British companies are still involved in the supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar, despite airstrikes against civilians causing a human rights and humanitarian crisis.”
Burma Campaign UK has praised the British government for leading international efforts to cut off supplies of arms and money to the Burmese military, which launched an attempted coup in February 2021. However, successive Foreign Office ministers have failed to allocate enough resources into swiftly doing everything they can to cut off supplies of revenue, arms and equipment to the Burmese military.
Today 516 civil society organisations wrote to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly calling on him to swiftly implement sanctions on the supply of aviation fuel to Burma.