One year after a military coup in Burma, President Biden denounced the military regime’s violence against civilians and called for democracy in the country.
“The coup has caused immense suffering across Burma and undermined regional stability, while the leaders of the regime and their supporters seek to profit off the chaos they have created,” Biden said in a January 31 statement. “To the people of Burma: We have not forgotten your struggle. And we will continue to support your valiant determination to bring democracy and the rule of law to your country.”
Since the February 1, 2021, coup, the military regime has killed nearly 1,500 people, including women and children, and detained around 10,000 people, according to the U.S. State Department.
Biden said the United States works with international partners to promote accountability for those responsible for the coup and committing violence against the people of Burma.
On the one-year anniversary of the coup, we are imposing sanctions in coordination with the UK and Canada on additional Burmese regime individuals, a defense entity, and cronies who materially support the regime. We'll continue pressing to restore Burma’s democratic transition.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 31, 2022
Coinciding with the President’s statement, the United States, in coordination with Canada and the United Kingdom, imposed new sanctions against officials of the military regime and business entities and individuals who support the regime.
“We are coordinating these actions with the United Kingdom and Canada to demonstrate the international community’s strong support for the people of Burma and to further promote accountability for the coup and the violence perpetrated by the regime,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said January 31, announcing the sanctions.
Among those sanctioned are the Directorate of Procurement of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services, prominent business leaders and officials connected to the regime’s efforts to undermine the rule of law and Burma’s democratic institutions.
On January 31, Blinken, the foreign ministers of eight other nations and the High Representative of the European Union condemned the military regime’s human rights violations, citing reports of torture, gender-based violence, including sexual violence, and noted more than 400,000 people have fled their homes since the coup.
“We call on all members of the international community to support efforts to promote justice for the people of Myanmar; to hold those responsible for human rights violations and abuses accountable,” the ministers said in the joint statement.
The foreign ministers represented were from Albania, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the High Representative on behalf of the European Union.
Banner image: People take cover behind vehicles as they watch soldiers and riot police in Mandalay, Burma, March 10, 2021. (© AP Images)