Burma Campaign UK today welcomed a new round of sanctions imposed by the UK. The new sanctions target three Burmese arms brokers and three Russian aircraft parts suppliers for supplying equipment to the Burmese military. Since the attempted military coup last year, the British government has led the way in systematically identifying and sanctioning sources of revenue and arms to the Burmese military.
However, the pace of the imposition of sanctions needs to be increased. They also need to be expanded to include the supply of aviation fuel to the military.
The new sanctions come days after the UN reported that the number of people forced to flee their homes since the attempted coup last year has reached almost 700,000. In several ethnic states the majority of displaced people are displaced by airstrikes or the threat of airstrikes. The total number of displaced people in Burma is now more than 1 million, the highest ever recorded figure.
The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) recently released a new report, ‘New Threats from the Air’, highlighting the new and deadly trend of airstrikes over populated villages in Kachin State. KWAT calls for sanctions on companies supplying aviation fuel to the Burmese military.
Amnesty International also released a new report last month, ‘“Bullets rained from the sky”: War crimes and displacement in eastern Myanmar’. The report also highlights the role of military airstrikes in violations of international law and calls for a ban on the supply of military grade aviation fuel to the Burmese military.
The sanctions announced today target three Burmese companies involved in the supply of aircraft parts to the military, Synpex Shwe, Myanmar New Era Trading and Sky Aviator.
They also target three Russian companies supplying aviation parts to the military, Ural Avia, Sins Avia Trading House, and JSC Gorizont.
“The British government has the right sanctions policy but isn’t putting in enough resources to impose targeted sanctions fast enough,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “There is a human rights and humanitarian crisis in Burma which needs a faster British government response. Stopping the supply of aviation fuel to the Burmese military is the single most effective action that can be taken to address the humanitarian crisis caused by airstrikes against civilians. It must be prioritized for the next round of sanctions.”