Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
As we approach one year since the horrific violence perpetrated by the Burmese military on Armed Forces Day 2021, in which more than 100 people were killed, the United States is imposing sanctions on five Burmese individuals and five entities in response to the regime’s brutal crackdown against the people of Burma. Since the February 2021 military coup, the military regime has only intensified its violent crackdown and killed more than 1,700 people, including women, children, and aid workers. Regime security forces have detained more than 13,000 people, imprisoned former State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other former government leaders, and dispersed peaceful demonstrations with lethal force.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated Burmese business leaders Aung Hlaing Oo, Naing Htut Aung, and Sit Taing Aung, as well as Burmese military officials Zaw Hein and Ko Ko Oo. OFAC has also designated the 66th Light Infantry Division, which has been tied to the “Christmas Eve massacre” in December, for its responsibility for the arbitrary detention or torture of people in Burma. Additionally, OFAC has designated Myanmar Chemical & Machinery Company Limited (MC&M), International Gateways Groups of Company Limited (IGG), Htoo Group of Companies (Htoo Group), and the Asian Green Development Bank (AGDB), companies owned by Burmese business leaders. All of these designations were made under Executive Order 14014 “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma.” With these designations, the United States government has sanctioned 27 entities and 70 individuals for their actions in support of the regime.
I recently announced the United States’ determination that members of the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Rohingya, most of whom are Muslim. We also recognize that for decades the Burmese military has killed, raped, and committed other atrocities against members of other ethnic and religious minority groups. Many of these military members are in power today. Since the coup, the military regime has shown it will target any person, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or age, in order to maintain its grip on power.
We have taken these actions today in response to the regime’s escalating violence, to show our strong support for the people of Burma, and to promote accountability in connection with the coup and the violence perpetrated by the regime. We will continue to impose costs on the military regime and those who support it until it ceases the violence and restores Burma’s path to democracy.
The United States appreciates the coordinated actions taken today by the United Kingdom and Canada under their respective sanctions programs to target Burmese actors responsible for violence and repression.