Almost two months after the coup, the European Union on Monday announced a first and very limited round of sanctions against the Burmese regime. They target only eleven commanders: eleven men, all of them soldiers, and all of them responsible “Repressive decisions and gross violations of human rights” And she has Undermining democracy and the rule of law, to me Official Gazette From the European Union. These measures come as the country threatens to plunge into a civil war, with more than 250 deaths, hundreds of wounded and missing, and more than that. 2,600 arrests.
Ten of the appointed leaders are members of the State Administration Council (SAC), the new body set up by the putschists on the day after February 1, or the National Security and Defense Council (NDSC), an institution launched in 2011, at the time of the country’s opening up.
They are among the highest-ranking officers in the Burmese Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), led by the Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing. His deputy, Soe Win, as well as Myint Soe, the new president who transferred civil, judicial and legislative powers to Min Aung Hlaing, or Sein Win, the former defense minister who also made a name for himself for his role in the massacres committed against the Rohingya between Ami 2016 and 2018. The eleventh person targeted by the European Union is the new president of the Electoral Commission, Thein Soo. In the aftermath of the coup, which was barely named, the latter quickly canceled the November election result that the military deemed fraudulent, and it never provided solid evidence for their claims.
‘Freeze all help’
These eleven officials are targeted by restrictive measures that prevent them from doing so “Enter the territory of the European Union and freeze [leurs] Origins. […] In addition, citizens and companies of the European Union are prohibited from making funds available to the persons and entities listed on the list. ” Determines the European Council. These penalties are in addition to Suspending financial aid to the government, and freezing all aid to government agencies that could be considered legitimizing the Burma junta. And complete a set of measures already in place, such as the ban on “Weapons and equipment likely to be used in internal repression, […] Restrictions on the export of communications surveillance equipment that could be used in internal repression, and the ban on all forms of military cooperation with the Tatmadaw. ” In 2019, 14 soldiers and police officers have already been appointed by the European Union to be responsible for crimes against the Rohingya.
So far, European Union foreign ministers have only targeted the military. They are thinking Additional restrictive measures against economic entities owned or controlled by the military in Burma, Identifies the press release. It could be decided upon in April once the matter is unanimously approved by the 27. Two military conglomerates are targeting: Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (Mehl) and the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), which is present in many layers of the Burmese economy, from mining to manufacturing to “ food and beverages, hotels, real estate, telecommunications and banking.
‘Harmful and unnecessary’
This declaration does not seem to have the support of all Member States. The penalties were ruled by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Zigarto “harmful” And the “not necessary”. It is similar to the one the European Union has issued in the past and adds to a massive arsenal already established by the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States which has issued numerous freezes and bans as of February 11th. Without permanent follow-up of those responsible for human rights abuses and violations, without full success in searching for civilian perpetrators.
At the beginning of March, Min Aung Hleng’s right hand, Soo Win, was forthright in the face of threats from ‘Strong measures’ And the’“isolation” Described by the UN envoy to Burma, Switzerland, Christine Schraner Burgener. We are accustomed to sanctions and we have survived. […] We have to learn to walk with a few friends, ” Has been announced. This time, will targeted penalties change the rules of the game? Until now, it was Burmese on the streets that were the pushers, not the generals.
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