- Web Master
- February 06, 2024
Express (Bangladesh) 14 September 2023
The UN human rights expert for Myanmar has called on the
United States to further tighten sanctions on the country’s military rulers to
include their main revenue source, the state oil and gas enterprise.
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews, a former member of the US
Congress, on Wednesday also said it was vital for Washington to at least
maintain levels of humanitarian support for victims of the junta inside and
Andrews told a hearing of the US Congress’s Tom Lantos Human
Rights Commission he was “alarmed” by reports that some donors, including the
US, might reduce support for Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar and said a
Joint Response Plan that includes food rations for Rohingya children in
Bangladesh was only 32 percent funded so far this year.
Andrews praised Washington for imposing sanctions on the
Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank and Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank in June,
but said more needed to be done, reports Reuters.
“We need to have more sanctions imposed... I urge the US to
join the European Union and immediately impose sanctions on the junta’s single
largest source of revenue, the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise,” Andrews said.
“If you can stop the money, you can cut their ability to
continue these atrocities,” he said referring to civilian deaths at the hands
of the military.
Andrews also urged Washington to work with other countries
to block the junta’s access to weapons.
Last month, Washington expanded its sanctions against
Myanmar to include foreign companies or individuals helping the junta to
procure jet fuel it uses to launch air strikes, while estimating that the
military had killed more than 3,900 civilians since taking power in a 2021
In January, the United States targeted the managing director
and deputy managing director of the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise with
sanctions, but has yet to go further against the firm, despite the urgings of
rights groups and dissidents.
Myanmar military officials have played down the impact of
sanctions and say their air strikes target insurgents.
Andrews said in a May report that Myanmar’s military had
imported at least $1 billion in arms and other material since the coup and
called out Russia and China for aiding its campaign to crush its opposition.