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World US slaps sanctions on Myanmar military chief over Rohingya abuses

05:45  11 december  2019
05:45  11 december  2019 Source:   aljazeera.com

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The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military leaders, including the commander-in- chief , in the toughest action taken yet by Washington for alleged human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities. The sanctions targeted military chief Min Aung Hlaing

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has announced sanctions on the Myanmar military ’s commander-in- chief Min Aung Hlaing and other military leaders over extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them from entry to the United States .

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The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military leaders, including the Commander-in-Chief, in the toughest action taken yet by Washington for alleged human rights abuses against the Rohingya people and other minorities.

The sanctions targeted military chief Min Aung Hlaing on the same day that Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, attended the first day hearings at the U.N.'s highest court in The Hague, where she will lead Myanmar's defence against the charge of genocide.

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The United States has announced sanctions on Myanmar 's military "This is good news if this is the first measure the US will take in addressing genocide in Myanmar against the Rohingya people. It's bad news if this is all Secretary Pompeo and the US administration are planning to do.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States announced sanctions on Tuesday against the Myanmar military ’s Commander-in- Chief Min Aung Hlaing and other leaders it said were responsible for extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them from entry to the United States .

A 2017 military crackdown in Myanmar drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Min Aung Hlaing that are standing together in uniform: (Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (L) and General Min Aung Hlaing are among several top Myanmar officials named in a case filed in Argentina for crimes against Rohingya Muslims. © Lillian SUWANRUMPHA (Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (L) and General Min Aung Hlaing are among several top Myanmar officials named in a case filed in Argentina for crimes against Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, denied accusations of widespread abuses and said the military's actions were part of a fight against terrorism.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement on Tuesday that Burmese military forces had committed "serious human rights abuse" under Min Aung Hlaing's command.

"During this time, members of ethnic minority groups were killed or injured by gunshot, often while fleeing, or by soldiers using large-bladed weapons; others were burned to death in their own houses," the statement said.

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WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department announced Friday that it had imposed economic sanctions on Burmese security forces for what American officials said was their role in “ethnic cleansing” against Rohingya Muslims and “widespread human rights abuses ” against other ethnic

The United States announced sanctions on Tuesday against the Myanmar military 's Commander-in- Chief Min Aung Hlaing and other leaders it said were responsible for extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them from entry to the United States . The steps, which also covered Min

Magnitsky Act

The sanctions on Tuesday were among a round of targets implemented under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and corruption, marking International Human Rights Day.

The sanctions freeze any US assets held by those targeted and prohibits Americans from conducting business with them.

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, centre, listens to judges in the courtroom of the International Court of Justice for the first day of three days of hearings in The Hague on Tuesday.

Min Aung Hlaing wearing a uniform: Myanmar Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, seen here in July 2018, has been slapped with sanctions by the United States © YE AUNG THU Myanmar Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, seen here in July 2018, has been slapped with sanctions by the United States As well as the army chief, the sanctions targeted Min Aung Hlaing's deputy, Soe Win, and two subordinates who headed the elite army divisions that spearheaded the crackdown on the Rohingya.

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WASHINGTON - The United States on Tuesday stiffened sanctions against Myanmar 's army chief over the mass killings of Rohingya , as his country defended itself against genocide charges before the top U.N. court. The United States in July banned military chief Min Aung Hlaing from visiting, but

The US has imposed sanctions on the Commander-in- Chief of Myanmar 's armed forces and another three top military leaders of the Southeast Asian country for the extra-judicial executions of members of the Rohingya ethnic minority. These are the most restrictive sanctions that the US has imposed so

A Reuters special report last year detailed for the first time the leading role of the two units, the 33rd Light Infantry Division, led by Than Oo, and the 99th Light Infantry Division, led by Aung Aung, in the 2017 conflict.

The 33rd Light Infantry Division led military operations in the village of Inn Din, where Reuters exposed a massacre of 10 Rohingya men and boys by soldiers and Buddhist villagers. Two Reuters reporters that worked on the story were jailed for more than 500 days.

It is not known whether the four generals, who were previously barred from entering the United States in July, have assets in the United States.

Myanmar's embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The additional sanctions come months after Washington faced criticism by UN special rapporteur Yanghee Lee in July, who said the earlier travel ban was not enough.

John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, called it a welcome but overdue step, saying "better late than never."

"It is unfortunate the decision took so long. The crimes in question were incredibly serious," he said.

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The United States announced sanctions on Tuesday against the Myanmar military ’s Commander-in- Chief Min Aung Hlaing and other leaders it said were responsible for extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them from entry to the United States .

The US yesterday announced sanctions on Myanmar military ’s Commander-in- Chief Min Aung Hlaing and other military leaders accused of being responsible for extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them entry to the US . The steps, which also covered Min Aung Hlaing’s deputy

"If the EU follows suit with similar measures and works with the US to press other jurisdictions to crack down, soon the Myanmar military will find that their world is geographically and financially shrinking."

More actions needed

The Treasury said the fresh sanctions were aimed at supporting a transition toward democracy in Myanmar, where Nobel laureate Suu Kyi came to power after landmark elections in 2015.

Suu Kyi is forced to share power with unelected generals over whom she has little control, but has remained popular at home despite international criticism over the Rohingya crisis.

a person standing in front of a building: © Independent Digital News & Media Limited "Aung San Suu Kyi: "More than 50 per cent of the villages of Muslims are intact""

Some analysts and diplomats have tipped Min Aung Hlaing as a potential presidential candidate in the next election in 2020, when Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is likely to face opposition from nationalists aligned with the military.

The US action on Tuesday falls short of reimposing economic sanctions on Myanmar lifted after the military began loosening its grip on power.

It does not target military-owned companies that dominate some sectors of Myanmar's economy.

Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, an advocacy group, said these military-owned companies were still doing business with US firms.

"Military-owned companies are helping to fund the genocide against the Rohingya. It is essential they face sanctions," he told Reuters by email.

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