May 31, 2018

Burma Campaign UK is today calling on the EU to reveal which EU members are providing training to the Burmese military, and publish details of that training.

When EU members published their response to the Rohingya crisis, they claimed they were prohibiting training and co-operation with the military.

In fact, they decided not to stop all EU members providing training to the Burmese military, despite the overwhelming evidence of them committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and even possibly genocide.

Instead the EU left a loophole saying future training will mainly focus on democratic principles and human rights.

That’s what the British government said when it started providing training to the military. After a year-long freedom of information battle, Burma Campaign UK forced the British government to admit that on a 60 hour training course, only one hour was on human rights. Even that one hour was later dropped from the course.

For the military to still be receiving training from EU members, despite being investigated by the United Nations for the most serious human rights violations under international law, only enhances their sense of impunity and encourages them to commit further abuses.

Burma Campaign UK is asking supporters to email the EU asking them to reveal details of the training, including which countries are providing training, details of that training, and whether it is being provided for free or if EU members are being paid for it.

The EU Ambassador to Burma, Kristian Schmidt, had previously agreed to publish details of the training, but is now failing to do so.

“There is no transparency about this training,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “If the EU have nothing to hide, why not reveal details of the training? Whether or not you think the training is a good idea, you have to question why the EU is keeping details of the training secret.”

 

Notes:

EU misleading statement claiming it prohibited military training and cooperation.

EU Council Conclusions with loophole allowing training to continue.

Ambassador Schmidt’s responses on Twitter on providing details of training.

Online action asking the EU to reveal details of the training.

 


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