In response to peaceful protests against the February 1 military coup, Burmese security forces opened fire February 20 in Mandalay, killing two and injuring dozens. Two others have been killed in crackdowns by the military.
In response to the military junta’s brutal suppression of demonstrators, the United States designated two additional individuals from the Burmese military regime: State Administrative Council members Maung Maung Kyaw and Moe Myint Tun. The sanctions block any property or interests in property of the two individuals that is within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with them.
These sanctions come on the heels of those imposed on February 11 against three Burmese extractives companies and 10 current and former military officials, including the commander of the Armed Forces and coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the “security forces’ brutal attacks on unarmed protesters.” He also decried “the ongoing arrests and detentions of hundreds of politicians, human rights defenders, and peaceful protestors.”
Secretary Blinken expressed strong support for the people of Burma, “who came out across the country with courage and determination. . .to reject the military coup and voice their aspirations for a return to democratic governance, peace, and rule of law.”
There have been almost daily demonstrations since the military junta seized power in Burma, which have at times drawn hundreds of thousands to the streets of major cities and towns.
Burma’s military has declared a year-long state of emergency and placed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other top civilian officials under house arrest.
The United States, in close coordination with its partners and allies, has underscored to the military that the coup and recent violence are unacceptable and the military must release those detained, refrain from further violence, and reinstate the civilian democratically-elected government.
Secretary Blinken “call[ed] on the military and police to cease all attacks on peaceful protesters, immediately release all those unjustly detained, stop attacks on and intimidation of journalists and activists, and restore the democratically elected government.”
The United States will continue to work with a broad coalition of international partners to promote accountability for those responsible for the coup and violence.
“We will not hesitate to take further action against those who perpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people,” declared Secretary Blinken. “We will not waver in our support for the people of Burma.”