EU Extends Myanmar Arms Embargo, Prepares Individual Sanctions

By Reuters 27 April 2018

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Thursday extended its arms embargo against Myanmar, following human rights violations in the country, and was preparing sanctions against individual army officials.

The embargo includes arms, other equipment that could be used for repression, the provision of military training and products used to monitor communications, the Council of the European Union said.

The Council added it had agreed on a framework for personal sanctions against officials of the Myanmar Armed Forces and the border guard police, should human rights violations in the country continue.

These personal sanctions could include travel bans and asset freezes, the Council said.

The EU accuses Myanmar of “serious and systemic” human rights violations in a military operation in the country’s northwest last year that sent nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

The move follows similar measures by the United States and Canada.

Two Reuters journalists were jailed while reporting the army crackdown on the Rohingya and remain in prison in Yangon, where they face up to 14 years in jail for violating Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act.

Senior UN officials, Western nations and press freedom advocates have called for the reporters’ release.