US imposes sanctions against Myanmar commanders, military units over Rohingya crackdown

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, USA Published: Aug 17, 2018, 09:32 PM(IST)

Myanmar says more than 500 people have been killed in the violence since late August, most of them insurgents. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The European Union had also announced sanctions against Myanmar officials last year which included General Soe.

The US government today imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military commanders and two military units for "ethnic cleansing, massacres, other serious human rights abuses" against Rohingyas.

Also Read: Myanmar appoints panel to probe Rohingya abuses

"Burmese security forces have engaged in violent campaigns against ethnic minority communities across Burma, including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual assault, extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights abuses," said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.

The US has accused Myanmar commanders Aung Kyaw Zaw, Khin Maung Soe, Khin Hlaing and border police commander Thura San Lwin of committing crimes against the Rohingyas. The US treasury department also targeted sanctions against the Myanmar 33rd and 99th light infantry.

"Treasury is sanctioning units and leaders overseeing this horrific behaviour as part of a broader US government strategy to hold accountable those responsible for such wide-scale human suffering," Mandelker said.

Last year the US had imposed sanctions on Myanmar's top general Maung Maung Soe for carrying out ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingyas in Rakhine State. Myanmar later removed  Soe from his post declaring he had been "purged" for poor performance. 

The European Union(EU) had also announced sanctions against Myanmar officials last year which included General Soe.

The UN had said last year that at least 700,000 Rohingyas had fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine State after the Army began to allegedly target the ethnic Rohingyas. The Trump administration today stopped short of calling the Rohingya massacre a "genocide".

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