US sanctions Myanmar junta’s jet-fuel suppliers

The sanctions are in response to the military regime’s “violent airstrikes” against civilians.
By Alex Willemyns for RFA
US sanctions Myanmar junta’s jet-fuel suppliers Myanmar military jets take part in an independence day celebration in Naypyidaw in 2015. Myanmar’s junta has increasingly relied on “violent airstrikes” against civilians to hold onto power, the U.S. Treasury Dept. says.
Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury Department has expanded sanctions aimed at Myanmar’s military junta so that any “foreign individual or entity” linked to procuring jet fuel for the military government can be targeted. 

More than 3,900 civilians have been killed by the regime since it seized power in February 2021, the Treasury Department said, with the junta increasingly reliant on “violent airstrikes” against civilians, including “women and schoolchildren,” to maintain its hold on power.

A press release from the Treasury Department singled out two recent air strikes on civilians in the Sagaing region – one in April and one in June – as the impetus for the expansion of the sanctions.

The announcement Wednesday was accompanied by the designation of two Burmese individuals – Khin Phyu Win and Zaw Min Tun – and a company – Shoon Energy Pte. Ltd – that the Treasury Department said were involved in procuring jet fuel for use by Myanmar’s military.

The sanctions mean that American citizens and firms, including banks, cannot have any business relationship with those sanctioned. 

“By expanding the use of our sanctions authority to target an additional sector critical to the military regime, we are able to further deprive the regime of the resources that enable it to oppress its citizens,” Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s statement. 

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement that the sanctions were intended to put pressure on the junta.

"The United States will continue to seek to deprive the military regime of the resources that enable its oppression of the people of Burma," he said.

Sagaing has been a hotbed of clashes between the military junta and the People’s Defense Forces since the February 2021 coup. Almost 800,000 residents of the region have been forced to flee due to the conflict since the junta seized power, the United Nations says.


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