26 June 2023
The U.S. Government imposed new sanctions on 21 June on the Burmese junta’s Ministry of Defense and two banks illegally seized and used by the military to buy arms and other related material from foreign sources that are needed for the junta’s ongoing commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. This announcement came in the wake of BURMA Act being signed into law in December 2022 by President Biden which commits the U.S. Government to pursue more aggressive sanctions against Burma’s military junta.
“These are the most consequential sanctions the US slapped Burma with and shows the U.S. Government’s solidarity with the people of Burma in their fight to topple the dictatorship”, said Kyaw Win, Executive Director of the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN). “BHRN hopes the US will now follow the EU in sanctioning the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), the junta’s most significant source of foreign revenue. Other governments must coordinate sanctions to cut all resources to this terrorist regime and hold them accountable for their crimes.”
The sanctions are against Ministry of Defense and two banks namely the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) and Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB). BHRN and other Burma civil society groups have been calling for sanctions on Burma’s state-owned banks including MFTB and MICB since the attempted coup.
The military has used these banks to launder revenues it has stripped from Burma’s natural resources and to access international markets to import weapons and materiel, including from sanctioned Russian entities, to continue its violent campaign of terror against Burma’s people.
While these new sanctions are a positive step towards cutting the junta’s access to resources and a deterrent to their ongoing crimes. Despite this immediate and coordinated action is still needed from the international community to systematically target the junta’s sources of revenue, arms, and jet fuel.
BHRN calls on:
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378