The United States House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2023 on Dec. 8. It includes the Burma Act, which would provide aid to pro-democracy forces, including the National Unity Government (NUG), National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CPRH), and the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), as entities to support to bring an end to military rule. It stipulates that sanctions must be imposed on senior military officials, including Burma Army personnel, members of the junta, and anyone working in Burma’s defense industry. It recommends sanctions be imposed on Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a key generator of foreign currency for the military.
The Burma Act authorizes funds to be made available to provide technical support and non-lethal assistance to ethnic armed groups and the People’s Defense Force (PDF). Programs that support Burma Army defectors were outlined as a priority. The aid must be channeled toward civil society organizations and UN agencies, not through the junta. The NUG welcomed the passage of the Burma Act. “Significant progress in the US Congress to further punish the Myanmar junta for the attempted power grab and human rights abuses,” its spokesperson said on Twitter. The U.S. Senate will vote on the NDAA 2023 in the coming days. If it passes, it will then be sent to President Biden to sign into law.