Sanctions on Top Myanmar Military Officials an Important – If Belated – First Step Toward Accountability

In response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of sanctions on four top Myanmar military officials, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Refugees International’s Senior Advocate for Human Rights Dan Sullivan issued the following statement:

“Sanctioning the highest levels of Myanmar’s military is an incredibly important if belated step. Although the sanctions are limited to travel restrictions, the move signifies that Washington is finally getting serious about accountability. It also acknowledges what the State Department itself has documented – that ethnic cleansing has taken place in Myanmar with virtual impunity.

U.S. efforts can’t stop here. With serious human rights violation continuing in Myanmar, the United States must also take the next step of imposing financial sanctions on military officials and military-owned enterprises.

In order to truly promote accountability, the United States should also lead international efforts to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court or to establish an ad hoc tribunal.”

For further information, see Refugees International’s report from April 2019 highlighting ongoing abuses against Rohingya in Rakhine State based on interviews with recently arrived refugees in Bangladesh.