November 7, 2017

Following the failure of the UN Security Council to agree on a resolution on the Rohingya crisis in Burma, Burma Campaign UK today called on EU Foreign Ministers to act. EU Ministers meet and discuss the crisis on Monday 13th November. Burma Campaign UK is calling on the EU to back a UN mandated global arms embargo as part of their response to what the United Nations has described at ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ against the Rohingya.

Since the latest military offensive against the Rohingya began on 25th August the only practical action taken by the EU to pressure the military to stop violating international law has been to suspend invitations to senior military officers to visit Europe. It is a response Burma Campaign UK has described as absolutely pathetic and in effect giving a green light for Min Aung Hlaing, head of the military, to continue human rights abuses.

EU Foreign Ministers last discussed the Rohingya crisis on 16th October. Our response and the EU statement is available here.

Burma Campaign UK is calling on the EU to implement the following measures:

  • Officially support the establishment of a UN mandated global arms embargo (The EU currently has its own arms embargo)
  • Implement a visa ban on members of the Burmese military entering the EU
  • Ban the supply of any equipment to the military, not just arms
  • End all military training and co-operation programmes
  • Ban investment and business dealings with military owned companies
  • Support a referral of the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court
  • Explore options for the application of universal jurisdiction for relating to violations of international law in Burma.
  • Review co-operation and support with the government of Burma in light of its denial of human rights violations and continuation of policies of repression against the Rohingya.

“There are twenty-eight EU Foreign Ministers but they don’t have a vertebrae between them, let alone a spine,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “First, by consistently failing to defend the rights of the Rohingya, the EU encouraged Min Aung Hlaing to believe he could get away with ethnic cleansing. By failing to act even now, they are proving him right. What possible reason can the EU have for not supporting the establishment of a global arms embargo against a military committing ethnic cleansing?”

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