It has been 18 months since the military coup in Burma. During that time, the Burmese military regime has escalated its violence to consolidate its control over the country, reportedly killing more than 2,100 people, imprisoning tens of thousands more, and committing egregious human rights abuses, including against those in detention. The regime recently committed the heinous act of executing four pro-democracy activists, further escalating its brutality and repression against the people of Burma.
At a recent meeting in Washington, Derek Chollet, the Counselor of the Department of State, pointed out that Burma’s military regime has shown a complete unwillingness to negotiate.
“Yet beneath this horrific brutality, we see a very insecure and isolated regime -- one that is facing a growing and resilient popular resistance movement. And while the military claims that it can control the country, in reality, the political and economic control remain contested, and the military regime has shown that it is fundamentally incapable of creating stability.”
The United States remains determined to restore Burma’s path toward an inclusive, multi-party democracy and continues to work with its allies and partners to address the human rights and humanitarian crises caused by the military regime’s brutal crackdown.
To that end, the United States, has sanctioned more than 70 individuals, including representatives of the military and others who are responsible for the violence. “We’ve also sanctioned 27 entities that are tied to the regime,” noted Counselor Chollet.
“We’ve also added numerous military entities . . . to the entity list to ensure they cannot benefit from U.S. exports. Alongside our economic sanctions against the regime, we’ve provided pro-democracy actors with resources, and we’ve given emergency assistance to well over 1,000 civil society activists.”
Finally, the United States is providing humanitarian aid directly to the people of Burma. In response to the crisis in Burma, the United States has provided more than $434 million in lifesaving humanitarian assistance and nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in COVID-19 related assistance to the people of Burma, stated Counselor Chollet.
The United States will remain focused on supporting the people of Burma in their struggle to put their country back on a path toward democracy. The people of Burma have suffered under their military’s tyranny for far too long, and they deserve our full support.