Conflicts & War

HRW urges blocking Myanmar military junta’s access to funds, weapons

Bangkok, Jan 28 (EFE).- Nonprofit Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the international community on Friday to block the Myanmar military junta’s access to funds and weapons.

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the coup, in which the military seized power and ended the country’s nascent democracy.

Since then, almost 1,500 people have died as a result of the authorities’ violent suppression of opposition to the military regime.

Although the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada have imposed targeted sanctions on junta leaders and some military-controlled companies, HRW says that “the junta’s foreign currency revenue remains largely untouched, in particular from natural gas sales, its greatest source of funds.”

According to rights organization’s data, the Myanmar junta earns about $1 billion annually from gas projects.

Therefore, HRW urges governments to “immediately” impose sanctions to prevent the junta from accessing that revenue and calls for the United Nations Security Council to “urgently” approve a resolution that imposes a global arms embargo on Myanmar.

“These countries should at long last impose costs on the junta that are too great for the generals to bear,” HRW Asia director Brad Adams said in a statement.

Since the coup, the brutality unleashed by the military junta has been isolating the country from the international community with the exception of Russia and China, who supply the majority of the arms to the country and shield it from any major action by the UN Security Council.

“How many more people does Myanmar’s military have to detain, torture, and shoot before influential governments act to cut off the junta from its flow of money and arms,” Adams added.

The French group TotalEnergies, the American multinational Chevron and the Australian oil company Woodside recently announced their departure from Myanmar and the abandonment of the projects with military-owned companies.

In another statement on Thursday, HRW and other nonprofits urged the Australian government to impose targeted sanctions against the Myanmar military leaders and companies linked to the regime.

“The mining, oil and gas sectors are like an ATM for Myanmar’s murderous military. The Australian government should introduce sanctions that will outlaw Australian mining, oil and gas companies lining the pockets of the generals with tax and royalty payments,” says Clancy Moore, Australian director of Publish What You Pay, a worldwide campaign for an open and accountable extractive industry. EFE


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