Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

EU expands Myanmar junta sanctions over crackdown

EU expands Myanmar junta sanctions over crackdown

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The European Union on Monday added 22 officials from Myanmar's military junta and four companies tied to the regime to the bloc's sanctions list over an ongoing crackdown after a coup last year.

The move takes the number of Myanmar officials targeted by EU asset freezes and visa bans to 65 and firms hit to 10 since the military seized power in February 2021.

Among those targeted by the latest round of sanctions were the ministers for investment, industry and information, officials at the election commission and senior members of military.

Two state mining and energy firms were also added to the list, along with two private firms linked to the junta.

"The European Union is deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence in Myanmar and the evolution towards a protracted conflict with regional implications," the bloc said in a statement.

"Since the military coup, the situation has continuously and gravely deteriorated."

It repeated calls for "an immediate cessation of all hostilities, and an end to the disproportionate use of force and the state of emergency".

Myanmar has been in chaos, its economy paralysed, and more than 1,500 civilians have been killed in a military crackdown since the putsch in February 2021, according to a local monitoring group.