U.S imposes sanctions on four Myanmar military commanders over ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingyas

Ten Rohingya Muslim men with their hands bound kneel as members of the Myanmar security forces stand guard in Inn Din village. Pic Credits: Reuters, 2017

The U.S Treasury department on Friday said that they have imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units for involvement in what it called “ethnic cleansing” and other human rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslims, Reuters reported.

The sanctions are named towards military commanders Aung Kyaw Zaw, Khin Maung Soe, Khin Hlaing, and border police commander Thura San Lwin, in addition to the 33rd and 99th Light Infantry Divisions, the Treasury said.

However, it has not called for accountability of human rights abuses and violations at the top level, which is a current ongoing debate within the government.

“Burmese security forces have engaged in violent campaigns against ethnic minority communities across Burma (Myanmar), including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual assault, extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights abuses,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.

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“Treasury is sanctioning units and leaders overseeing this horrific behavior as part of a broader US government strategy to hold accountable those responsible for such wide-scale human suffering,” Mandelker said.

In June, Reuters published a special report in which the two infantry divisions’ role being played was accounted. The military, however, has denied accusations of ethnic cleansing and says its actions were part of a fight against terrorism.




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