On the third anniversary of the latest military coup by the Burmese military, Burma Campaign UK repeats its call for urgent action to sanction sources of aviation fuel reaching Burma.
The mass use of indiscriminate airstrikes by the Burmese military has contributed to more than two and a half million people being forced to flee their homes in the past three years. This has created a humanitarian crisis.
A new briefing today by Amnesty International has exposed the networks being used to supply aviation fuel to Burma, despite the limited sanctions introduced so far. The briefing demonstrates how international sanctions initially had some impact, with supplies reduced, until suppliers then switched to indirect routes.
“New information exposed by Amnesty International demonstrates the need for swift sanctions targeting international companies involved in supplying jet fuel to Burma,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “We need to be engaged in an urgent game of whack-a-mole, cutting off new sources of jet fuel as soon as they are exposed. Lives are at stake when we fail to act. Instead, governments are playing red light green light, with months at a time standing still staring at the red light.”
The Amnesty International briefing is available here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2024/01/myanmar-new-data-suggests-military-still-importing-fuel-for-deadly-air-strikes-despite-sanctions/
A new briefing today by Human Rights Watch has also highlighted how the Burmese military has “increasingly carried out unlawful airstrikes harming civilians.” The briefing is available here: https://www.hrw.org/news/2024/01/30/myanmar-military-abuses-against-civilians-intensify
As the Burmese military has seized aviation fuel intended for civilian use, only a complete embargo on the supply of aviation fuel to Burma can help reduce airstrikes. Domestic flights are generally used by a small minority of better-off people in the country, and international aid can be transported into the country by planes with enough fuel for the return journey, so there will be limited impact on ordinary people, compared to the huge benefits from reducing airstrikes.
“International companies are supplying jet fuel to Burma knowing it could be used for airstrikes against civilians, and governments in the UK, EU and USA have so far failed to take action against them,” said Mark Farmaner. “The lack of action to cut off supplies of jet fuel to the Burmese military demonstrates the general international lethargy towards cutting off sources of arms, money and equipment to the Burmese military.”
Burma has been plunged into a human rights and humanitarian catastrophe since the Burmese military began their attempted coup on 1st February 2021. Facing unprecedented resistance and losing control of large swathes of the country, the Burmese military have responded with ever increasing brutality using airstrikes and artillery against civilian towns and villages, hospitals, schools and religious buildings.