US to announce more sanctions against Myanmar junta

US to announce more sanctions against Myanmar junta

JAKARTA: The United States will announce further sanctions against entities inside Myanmar in the coming days, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday (Mar 22).

Speaking to reporters in Jakarta, US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet said the sanctions will make it more difficult for Myanmar’s junta to generate revenue to buy weapons.

“We’re committed to ratchet up the pressure on the junta and make it harder for them to generate revenue, which is fueling its war machine,” Chollet said. 

He added that Myanmar was “on the path to becoming a failed state in the heart of Southeast Asia”.

Myanmar’s military overthrew an elected government in 2021 and has since led a crackdown on dissent, trapping the country in chaos.

The US and other Western countries have already announced a series of sanctions targeting junta members, the military government’s agencies, and military-run companies, seeking to curb their ability to raise money.

To date, the US has imposed sanctions on 80 individuals and more than 30 entities inside Myanmar, Chollet said.

He said that to see a solution to the Myanmar conflict, Russia must stop supplying military equipment to the junta.

“One way that can happen is if the junta is no longer able to import arms and we would make a very large step in that direction if Russia were to stop supplying arms to Myanmar,” he said.

Chollet called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to exclude political representation from Myanmar’s military rulers at all its meetings

“The regime needs to fully understand that as long it’s continuing to prosecute such a brutal campaign against their own people that they will suffer the consequences for that – and that will include further isolation in the international community.”

ASEAN currently bars junta leaders from high-level meetings, but has demurred on imposing sanctions and ruled out ousting Myanmar from the 10-member regional bloc.