On 27 April 2018, the EU published legislation imposing further restrictive measures on Myanmar/Burma, strengthening the EU’s arms embargo and targeting the Myanmar/Burma army and border guard police officials. These measures, which came into force today, are contained in Council Regulation 2018/647, and are a direct follow up to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 on the situation in Myanmar/Burma.
Firstly, the measures adopt a legal framework for targeted restrictive measures against certain persons from the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the border guard police. The measures will make it possible to impose travel bans and asset freezes on individuals responsible for:
- serious human rights violations, for example inciting violence, discrimination and acts of violence against persons belonging to minorities in Rakhine and obstructing the voluntary and safe return process of displaced persons from Rakhine State to their place of origin;
- obstructing the conduct of independent investigations into alleged serious human violations or abuses; or
- obstructing the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance for civilians in need.
Secondly, the measures strengthen the EU’s arms embargo on Myanmar/Burma in the following ways:
- extend for one year the existing embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression; and
- prohibit the provision of military training to and military cooperation with the Myanmar/Burma army.
Thirdly, the measures prohibit the export of dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police and impose restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression.
In its conclusions on 26 April 2018 the Council referred to the situation in Myanmar/Burma, in particular Rakhine State, as “extremely serious“, condemning ongoing widespread, systematic grave human rights violations committed by the Myanmar/Burma military and security forces, including rape and killings, and calling upon the Government of Myanmar/Burma and the security forces to ensure that security, the rule of law and accountability prevail.