EU announces plan to sanction 11 people tied to Myanmar coup

The European Union’s (EU) high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, announced on Monday a plan to impose sanctions on 11 people linked to the Myanmar coup, ahead of a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers.

Speaking to the media as he arrived in Brussels, Borrell said, “We are going to take sanctions against 11 persons involved in the coup and the repression of the demonstrators.”

The sanctions had been expected after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian mentioned the proposed move at a Senate hearing on March 17, laying out the EU’s response to the actions of the Myanmar government in the wake of the February 1 coup.

The 11 individuals have not yet been named, with that information set to become available after the EU formally introduces the new measures. The bloc is also expected to impose further restrictions on Myanmar in the future, targeting businesses that are controlled by the country’s military in an attempt to hold people responsible for the recent clashes with demonstrators.

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Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation are the two companies that are expected to face sanctions, having previously been identified by the UN in a 2019 report that accused them of being used to finance human rights abuses.
The Myanmar military has not yet responded to the recent remarks from the EU’s most senior foreign policy representative.

The planned sanctions are not the first time the EU has targeted Myanmar, with an arms embargo having been in place on the country since 1996, despite relations seemingly improving in 2012, when Europe lifted most of the sanctions on the country’s government.

In 2018, in response to concerns over the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the EU re-introduced restrictive measures on the nation, including limiting shipments of communication equipment that could be used by the military.

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