CSW calls for further EU sanctions on Myanmar military

CSW is calling on the Council of the European Union (EU) to introduce a fifth round of sanctions against the Myanmar/Burma military, with a particular focus on arms sales.

The EU has introduced four rounds of sanctions against the Myanmar army and its enterprises, and notably took the lead in sanctioning Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in February 2021. However, the EU’s last round of sanctions was over seven months ago, during which time Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) have initiated new rounds of sanctions.

In a letter dated 29 September, signed by CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas, and addressed to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, and the Foreign Ministers of the EU member states, CSW urges the recipients to “expedite the introduction of new sanctions, targeting the sources of arms, equipment, and revenue of the Myanmar military.”

Since the February 2021 coup, the military junta’s increasing use of airstrikes against civilians and civilian structures has been a major driver of displacement, occasioning a humanitarian crisis.

In its letter, CSW contends that limiting the military’s access to parts, ammunition, and aviation fuel could assist in reducing its ability to wage war on civilians from the air, and by extension save lives. The letter suggests that targets for additional sanctions should include “the numerous arms brokers exposed by the advocacy group Justice for Myanmar.”

CSW Senior Analyst for East Asia Benedict Rogers said: “Since the coup in February 2021, the people of Myanmar have suffered crimes against humanity, violations of human rights and humanitarian law, and war crimes. We commend the EU for its first four rounds of sanctions. However, seven months after last the round, it is beginning to fall behind its allies, and is missing vital opportunities to further obstruct the military’s ability to continue its brutal campaign against civilians. By acting swiftly to sanction arms brokers highlighted by Justice for Myanmar, the EU will assist in saving civilians lives.”