Alexa US tightens sanctions on Myanmar army chief

Dhaka, Saturday   25 January 2020


US tightens sanctions on Myanmar army chief

 International Desk

 Published: 10:46 AM, 11 December 2019   Updated: 04:30 PM, 11 December 2019

Min Aung Hlaing,  Myanmar’s army chief; Photo: Collected

Min Aung Hlaing,  Myanmar’s army chief; Photo: Collected

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions against Myanmar’s army chief over human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities including the mass killings, as his country defended itself against genocide charges before the top UN court.  

The sanctions targeted Min Aung Hlaing,  Myanmar’s army chief, on the same day that the country’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi — attended the first day hearing at UN court in Hague — where she will lead Myanmar’s defence against the genocide charge. 

Earlier in July, the  United States banned military chief Min Aung Hlaing from visiting. In the meantime, the Treasury Department imposed the same sanctions on three other senior Myanmar commanders, as well as 14 individuals from other countries, to observe International Human Rights Day.

“The United States will not tolerate torture, kidnapping, sexual violence, murder or brutality against innocent civilians,” said Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, in a statement. 

“America is the world leader in combatting human rights abuse and we will hold perpetrators and enablers accountable wherever they operate.”

Noted that Myanmar’s military is accused of leading a brutal campaign in 2017 in Rakhine state against the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority whom the Buddhist-dominated nation does not consider citizens.

Around 740,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh after a bloody crackdown by the Myanmar military in 2017 that UN investigators have already described as genocide.

The United States said there were “credible reports” of mass-scale rape and other sexual violence by soldiers under the command of Min Aung Hlaing.

Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner whose reticence on the Rohingya killings has severely tarnished her once-iconic image in the West, is personally leading the defense in the case brought by Muslim-majority Gambia.