Washington imposed on Monday fresh sanctions on Myanmar’s junta, targeting the governing State Administrative Council (SAC) and 13 officials in the latest in a series of punitive measures following a military coup.
The Southeast Asian country has been hit by crisis since the military seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected cabinet on Feb. 1, with near daily demonstrations and a crackdown by the junta in which hundreds of people have perished.
In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department accused the SAC, formed a day after the coup, of being created by Myanmar’s military to back it’s “unlawful overthrow of the democratically elected civilian government”.
Among those blacklisted in Monday’s move were 4 members of the SAC, as well as 9 other officials the U.S. Treasury said were key members of Myanmar’s military cabinet, including the governor of the country’s central bank, the minister for international cooperation and the president of the military-appointed electoral body, the Union Election Commission.
Such move seemed to be the first time the U.S. has targeted civilian officials who are working with the junta, although some of them are retired military officers.
Moreover, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on 3 adult children of U.S.-blacklisted Myanmar military officials, the statement added.
Andrea Gacki, director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in the statement that “Burma’s military continues to commit human rights abuses and oppress the people of Burma. Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ commitment to work with our international partners to press the Burmese military and promote accountability for those responsible for the coup and ongoing violence.”
Washington’s move freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally debars U.S. nationals from dealing with them.