Oil giants Total, Chevron exit Myanmar due to human rights abuses

WION Web Team
Myanmar Updated: Jan 22, 2022, 12:43 AM(IST)

TotalEnergies withdraws from Myanmar over human rights abuses Photograph:( Twitter )

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Since the coup, Myanmar security forces have killed more than 1,400 people and arrested thousands to try to crush resistance, local non-governmental organisation Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said

Due to the "worsening" human rights situation and failing rule of law after the country’s military seized power in a coup last year, energy giants TotalEnergies and Chevron Corp have announced their pullout from Myanmar. 

The announcement came a day after France's Total called for targeted international sanctions on Myanmar's oil and gas sector, requiring all revenues to be placed in escrow, in an effort to cut off the army's main source of foreign currency funding after it overthrew Myanmar's elected government in February 2021. 

Since the coup, Myanmar security forces have killed more than 1,400 people and arrested thousands to try to crush resistance, local non-governmental organisation Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said. The Junta disputes the figures.

"The situation, in terms of human rights and more generally the rule of law, which have kept worsening in Myanmar since the coup of February 2021, has led us to reassess the situation and no longer allows TotalEnergies to make a sufficiently positive contribution in the country," the French energy group TotalEnergies said in a statement.

"In light of circumstances in Myanmar, we (will) enable a planned and orderly transition that will lead to an exit from the country," Chevron spokesman Cameron Van Ast said in the statement.

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The junta seized power alleging widespread fraud in a November 2020 election won by a landslide by the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. International and local monitoring groups said there were no major irregularities with the vote.

Total Energies did not quantify the financial impact of the withdrawal, but said the country represented a minor part of its revenues.

TotalEnergies said it had notified its partners in Myanmar of its withdrawal, which will become effective at the latest at the expiry of a 6-month contractual period.

(With inputs from agencies)

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