US, EU Extend Sanctions as Myanmar Violence Escalates

Published: 10 November 2022

Myanmar Armed Forces DayMyanmar’s junta seized power last year following a military coup. (Photo:, Wikimedia, License)

By Inci Sayki

The European Union and United States imposed further sanctions on Myanmar’s military regime on Tuesday by designating arms dealers, companies and senior officials as violence continues to escalate since last year’s military takeover.

The simultaneous sanctions mark the second anniversary of the last general election held in 2020, which was overturned by the February 2021 coup d’etat.

The military takeover of Myanmar’s democratically elected government sparked widespread protests, known locally as the “Spring Revolution,” which were violently suppressed by the military junta, resulting in the death of over 2,300 civilians and displacement of 900,000 according to a U.S. Treasury statement from last month.

In its fifth package of sanctions to the Southeast Asian country, the EU blacklisted 19 more individuals on Tuesday, including a minister, chief justice, business representatives, and high-ranking members of the Myanmar Armed Forces.

The State Administration Council, the military junta governing Myanmar since the military coup, was also blacklisted for its “central role in undermining democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar/Burma,” Tuesday’s announcement said.

There are now a total of 84 individuals and 11 entities sanctioned by the union.

“The EU will continue to strive to bring to justice all those responsible for the human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the wake of the 1 February 2021 coup in Myanmar,” the European Council’s announcement said.

The U.S. Treasury Department on the other hand, designated major arms dealer Kyaw Min Oo and his company Sky Aviator Company Limited for facilitating arms deals, importation of aircraft parts, and weapons purchases on behalf of Myanmar's military.

“Kyaw Min Oo profits from the violence and suffering the military has inflicted on the people of Burma since the military coup,” said Brian E. Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The U.S. last month sanctioned three businessmen with ties to the Burmese military officials and their company for allegedly supplying Russian-produced arms to Myanmar's military.

“Burma’s military regime has continued to oppress and deny the will of the people to chart an inclusive, democratic future for their country,” the Treasury’s Tuesday announcement said.

“The sanctions announced today do not target the people of Burma but rather target those who profit from the oppressive actions of the regime by operating in the defense sectors of Burma’s economy and by enabling Burma’s military connections to foreign militaries” it added.

The European Council said in its announcement that the EU is “deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence and the evolution towards a protracted conflict which has spread across the country and has regional implications,” and condemned the rights violations including torture and sexual abuse, as well as the persecution of civil society, activists, and journalists by the country’s armed forces.