EU seeks sanctions on Myanmar military over Rakhine crisis

27 February 2018
EU seeks sanctions on Myanmar military over Rakhine crisis
Myanmar border police patrol Wei Thar Li village in Maungdaw located in Rakhine State near the border to Bangladesh on October 12, 2016 as government security forces pursue attackers. Photo: AFP

EU countries on Monday demanded sanctions against senior Myanmar military officers over what it said were "serious and systematic" rights abuses against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority.
A crackdown by security forces in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state has driven some 700,000 Rohingyas across the border into Bangladesh since last August.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said the situation in Myanmar was "extremely serious."
The ministers tasked the bloc's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini with making "proposals for targeted restrictive measures against senior military officers of the Myanmar armed forces responsible for serious and systematic human rights violations without delay".
They also called for an extension to the EU's embargo on weapons and equipment that can be used for political repression, imposed in the 1990s.
Blacklisting senior military officers -- freezing their EU assets and stopping them travelling to the bloc -- would be the toughest step taken so far by Brussels in its efforts to halt the Rohingya crisis and hold the perpetrators accountable.