Australia slaps five Myanmar military generals with sanctions

October 23, 2018 | By | Reply More

Australia has imposed sanctions and travel bans on five Myanmar military generals accused of leading last year’s violent crackdown on the country’s Rohingya.

australiaForeign Minister Marise Payne made the announcement in a statement today after indicating last month that Australia was likely to take action.

“I have now imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans against five Myanmar military officers responsible for human rights violations committed by units under their command,” she said.

It comes after the United Nations fact-finding mission to Myanmar released a report accusing the military of a systematic campaign targeting civilians that included mass rapes and enforced disappearances.

The report recommended that top military brass be investigated and prosecuted for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Australia has been much slower to impose sanctions than the European Union, UK and the US in the wake of last year’s Rohingya crisis that saw 700,000 members of the Muslim minority flee to Bangladesh.

Two of the men targeted by Australia’s sanctions are no longer members of Myanmar’s military.

Maung Maung Soe was fired from his post as commander of the Bureau of Special Operations in June after the European Union imposed sanctions on him while Aung Kyaw Zaw, the head of the Western Command, was allowed to resign in May.

The three others — Aung Aung, Than Oo and Khin Maung Soe — remain with Tatmadaw, as Myanmar’s military is known.

While Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing was not sanctioned by Australia in this announcement, Facebook took down his verified page in August after the release of the UN report.

Diana Sayed, Amnesty International Australia crisis campaigner, welcomed Ms Payne’s announcement but called on the Government to withdraw financial support for the Tatmadaw and consider expanding sanctions to several other individuals who have been implicated.

Australia allocated nearly $400,000 for training Myanmar’s military in the last budget, which Ms Sayed said put us “out of step with the rest of the world”.

Ms Payne said Australia would “continue to support the humanitarian needs of those affected” and work with Myanmar to “encourage efforts towards a long-term and durable solution to the crisis”.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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