U.S. bars four Myanmar military leaders for human rights violations
dpa, Hamburg, Germany
The United States on Tuesday banned four leaders of Myanmar’s military for gross human rights violations, including killings that occurred in northern Rakhine state against Rohingya Muslims.
The commander in chief of the military and the deputy commander in chief are among the four banned from entry into the US, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. The ban also extends to their family members.
“With this announcement, the United States is the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese military,” Pompeo said. “We designated these individuals based on credible information of these commanders’ involvement in gross violations of human rights.”
The department identified the four banned leaders as Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Brigadier General Than Oo and Brigadier General Aung Aung.
The UN and other human rights groups have accused Myanmar’s government of ethnic cleansing and genocide of Rohingya Muslims in the country.
Pompeo cited the recent disclosure that Min ordered the release of soldiers convicted of extrajudicial killings at Inn Din during the violence as an example of “the continued and severe lack of accountability for the military and its senior leadership.”
He said Min “released these criminals after only months in prison, while the journalists who told the world about the killings in Inn Din were jailed for more than 500 days,” Pompeo said.
An estimated 700,000 predominantly Muslim Rohingya people have fled the violence in Myanmar and sought refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.
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