UPDATED: EU to sanction 11 people involved in Myanmar coup

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The European Union will on Monday impose sanctions on 11 individuals linked to the Feb. 1 coup in Myanmar, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

While the bloc has an arms embargo on Myanmar, and has targeted some senior military officials since 2018, the measures would be its most significant response so far since the coup.

“On … Myanmar we are going to take sanctions against 11 persons involved in the coup and the repression of the demonstrators,” Borrell said, adding the situation in the country was deteriorating.

European Union sanctions on Myanmar will target those individuals who are responsible for the violence on the streets and are not intended to punish the people, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

“The number of murders has reached an unbearable extent, which is why we will not be able to avoid imposing sanctions,” Maas told reporters as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting with his EU counterparts.

“We don’t intend to punish the people of Myanmar but those who blatantly violate human rights,” he added.

Reuters reported on March 8 that the EU was preparing the measures. The names of the individuals are expected to be made public once the sanctions are formally decided by ministers.

Stronger measures are expected soon as the bloc moves to target the businesses run by the military.

EU diplomats have told Reuters that parts of the military’s conglomerates, Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), are likely to be targeted, barring EU investors and banks from doing business with them.

The conglomerates are spread throughout the economy from mining and manufacturing to food and beverages to hotels, telecoms and banking. They rank among the country’s biggest taxpayers and sought partnerships with foreign companies as Myanmar opened up during its democratic liberalization.

A U.N. fact-finding mission in 2019 recommended sanctions against the two companies and their subsidiaries, saying they gave the army extra sources of revenue that could finance human rights violations. 

Main Photo: European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell speaks to media before a EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 22 March 2021. EPA-EFE/ARIS OIKONOMOU / POOL

Once you're here...

%d bloggers like this: