Canada, the UK, and the US have imposed new sanctions on individuals and groups related to or alleged to be arming the Burma Air Force, which has upped its indiscriminate massacre of civilians in bombing campaigns since the start of 2022.
Newly sanctioned in the UK:
- Gen. Htun Aung, Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Air Force
- Dr Aung Moe Myint and his company Dynasty International (alleged to be facilitating arms flows from Belarus)
- Aung Hlaing Oo and company Myanmar Chemical and Machinery
- Miya Win, a conglomerate owned by crony Tay Za accused of facilitating ongoing arms deals.
Newly sanctioned in the US:
- Tay Za’s Asia Green Development (AGD) Bank
- Two Burma Army officers, Zaw Hein and Ko Ko Oo
- The entire 66th Light Infantry Division due to its alleged involvement in the “Christmas Eve” massacre in Kayah State, in which 30 people were discovered burned to death.
- Aung Hlaing Oo (above), Naing Htut Aung of International Gateways Group of Company [sic], and Sit Taing Aung — businesspeople accused of facilitating the flow of arms to the military.
Newly sanctioned in Canada:
- Aung Hlaing Oo, Sit Taing Aung, Aung Moe Myint, and Htun Aung (all above)
- Myanmar Chemical and Machinery Co. Ltd.
- Yatanarpon Aviation Support Co. Ltd.
The sanctions were welcomed by the NUG’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zin Mar Aung, who said: “Stopping airstrikes is the most urgent priority to prevent further deterioration of humanitarian condition in Myanmar. It is good to see the UK government beginning the process of sanctioning suppliers to the air force. There is also an urgent need for [a] jet fuel embargo.”
“Targeted economic sanctions are just one tool, and we need to see other tools used such as support for international justice mechanisms like referring Burma to the International Criminal Court, and joining or financing the genocide case at the International Court of Justice,” said Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Orgainsation UK.
Referring to President Biden’s declaration that the US now considers the military’s actions in Rakhine to constitute “genocide”, he added: “The United States’ genocide declaration this week was welcome recognition for the suffering us Rohingya have endured, but it must amount to more than words, and be turned into concrete actions that ultimately remove this junta from power.”
Activist group Justice for Myanmar noted that the sanctions come as the military is preparing to celebrate Burma’s Armed Forces Day. On the same day one year ago, troops are believed to have murdered over 160 people, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.