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US and EU enact more targeted sanctions against regime officials and cronies

The United States and the European Union have sanctioned additional junta officials, and its business proxies, on Nov. 8. The EU announced that it had enacted a fifth round of sanctions targeting 19 individuals and one entity in Burma. The statement cited the escalating violence and human rights violations as justification for the sanctions against the junta.

Individuals targeted in the new round of sanctions include Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Kan Zaw, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Htun Htun Oo, Union Election Commission (UEC) officials, high ranking members of the Burma Army and Airforce, and business cronies. The entity listed is the “State Administration Council (SAC).” This is the junta’s name for itself to help it gain legitimacy among the people of Burma following its ousting of the civilian National League for Democracy government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained and imprisoned since the 2021 military coup.

Those affected by the sanctions are subject to travel bans and asset freezes. Individuals and entities in the EU are prohibited from issuing funds to those sanctioned. “The EU condemns the continuing grave human rights violations including torture and sexual and gender-based violence, the continued persecution of civil society, human rights defenders and journalists, attacks on the civilian population, including ethnic and religious minorities, and the destruction of private property by the Myanmar armed forces,” the statement added.

The U.S. Department of Treasury imposed sanctions against Sky Aviator Company Limited and its owner and director Kyaw Min Oo. This was done in conjunction with the EU sanctions. U.S. officials claimed that the company is a principal supplier of aircraft parts for the regime in Burma. Kyaw is said to have helped organize the visits of foreign military officials to Burma as well as the import of military equipment and arms. “Kyaw Min Oo profits from the violence and suffering the military has inflicted on the people of Burma since the military coup,” said Brian Nelson, the U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Last month, the Burma Army carried out airstrikes on a ceremony in Hpakant Township organized by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). Up to 100 people were killed, including civilians, musicians, businesspeople, and KIO officials. November 8 marked the two year anniversary of the 2020 general elections that the military annulled when it staged its coup on Feb. 1, 2021.

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