EU Extends "Restrictive Measures" on Myanmar over Rohingya Crisis
IndraStra Global

EU Extends "Restrictive Measures" on Myanmar over Rohingya Crisis

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: A file photo of Rohingya refugees walking from Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh. / Dated: September 24, 2017,/ Source: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Image Attribute: A file photo of Rohingya refugees walking from Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh. / Dated: September 24, 2017,/ Source: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

On April 29, 2019, the European Union extended a "restrictive measure" on selling arms to Myanmar and prolonged sanctions against high-ranking officials over rights abuses committed against the Rohingya and other minorities. The ban is extended for one year, until April 30, 2020.

According to the press release, the sanction regimes includes "an embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression, an export ban of dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police, and export restrictions of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression." It also prohibits the provision of military training to and military cooperation with the Myanmar Armed Forces (who are officially known as the Tatmadaw).

The extension includes “restrictive measures on 14 individuals (incl. senior military officials) for serious human rights violations” against the Rohingya and other minority groups in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states. Many of such abuses amount to the gravest crimes under international law. Also, the officials (who are involved) have been barred from traveling to and through the European bloc and their assets held in Europe have been frozen.

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The extension of restrictive measures is based upon the conclusions made by the council (15033/18) on Myanmar on December 10, 2018. At that time, the council had expressed deep concern over the findings of the independent international FactFinding Mission (FFM) of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that concluded gross human rights violations were committed by the Tatmadaw (in particular).

Since August 2017, around 740,000 Rohingya refugees fled a military crackdown in northern Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh due to sectarian violence between the Rohingya Muslim and Rakhine Buddhist communities. On September 24, 2017, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report titled the "Mission report of OHCHR rapid response mission to Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh," which detailed the Burmese military's "systematic process" of driving away hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from Myanmar.