EU extends arms embargo, prepares sanctions on Myanmar | News | DW | 26.04.2018
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EU extends arms embargo, prepares sanctions on Myanmar

The EU has extended an arms embargo on Myanmar and prepared a framework for targeted sanctions over human rights abuses. Human rights organizations and the United Nations have accused Myanmar of "ethnic cleansing."

The European Union on Thursday extended an arms embargo on Myanmar and established a legal framework for targeted sanctions against military officials and border guards responsible for ongoing human rights abuses.

The EU executive decision prepares the bloc to impose travel bans and asset freezes on individuals responsible for human rights abuses and violence against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state.     

The sanctions could be applied on those involved in violence against minorities, obstructing investigations into human rights abuses, preventing the return of hundreds of thousands displaced and blocking humanitarian assistance, the European Council said.

Read more: Myanmar to block visas for UN delegation

The EU arms embargo applies to dual-use goods used by Myanmar security forces, as well as equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for "internal repression."

In addition, the bloc will prohibit military training and military cooperation with the Myanmar army.

Read more: UN: Rohingya subjected to forced starvation by Myanmar authorities

In a statement, the Council condemned "ongoing widespread, systematic grave human rights violations committed by Myanmar/Burma military and security forces, including rape and killings."

More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighboring Bangladesh since a military crackdown began last year targeting what Myanmar says are militants.

Read more:Myanmar's Rohingya: A history of forced exoduses

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Humanitarian crisis looms in Rohingya refugee camps

Human rights organizations and the United Nations have accused Myanmar of "ethnic cleansing."

The EU decision comes after similar moves by the United States and Canada.

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