EU slaps sanctions on top Myanmar officials, gas firm


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The bloc says it’s deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence in Myanmar.

More than 1,500 civilians have been tortured to death or killed in the violence, many of them in attacks in rural areas by security forces, including airstrikes.
More than 1,500 civilians have been tortured to death or killed in the violence, many of them in attacks in rural areas by security forces, including airstrikes.
(AP)

The European Union has imposed sanctions on several top officials in Myanmar and on a lucrative state-owned oil and gas company that has helped fund the military that overthrew the country’s elected government a year ago.

The bloc imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 22 people on Monday and slapped restrictive measures on four entities, including state-owned and private companies.

Among those sanctioned was the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which is a joint venture partner in all offshore gas projects in Myanmar, including the Yadana gas field with Total Energies and Chevron. 

Last month, Total and Chevron said they were exiting Myanmar amid rampant human rights abuses committed by the military.

READ MORE: Burned alive’: Myanmar military committed war crimes, report says

Continuing escalation of violence

The sanctions on MOGE come after a long campaign by human rights groups within Myanmar and around the world, who argued that sanctioning MOGE would cut off a significant source of the military’s funds. 

About 50 percent of Myanmar’s foreign currency comes from natural gas revenues, with MOGE expected to earn $1.5 billion from offshore and pipeline projects in 2021-2022, according to a Myanmar government forecast.

Prior rounds of US and European sanctions against the Myanmar military have excluded oil and gas. The Yadana field supplies gas to Myanmar and neighbouring Thailand.

EU headquarters said in a statement that the bloc “is deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence in Myanmar and the evolution towards a protracted conflict with regional implications. 

Since the military coup, the situation has continuously and gravely deteriorated.”

READ MORE: Myanmar to contest ICJ Rohingya ‘genocide’ case without Suu Kyi

READ MORE: What is happening in Myanmar one year after the military coup?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies


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