Dictatorship in Burma continues its work and receives weapons despite the sanctions

Geneva, September 16 (EFE). – The military junta that organized the February 2021 coup in Burma continues to do some business – through the companies and banks it controls – with countries that have imposed sanctions, while they have done so. It has received weapons from countries ignoring calls for a blanket ban on arms sales, according to the United Nations.

Teak from Burma, valued at $19 million, entered the European Union, mainly Italy, after the coup and despite the fact that the only company in this country authorized to trade this product has been under sanctions since June of last year.

A report presented today by the United Nations Human Rights Office also states that after this action, 65 ships carrying teak from Burma entered the United States, and there was also trade, in smaller quantities, with Canada, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom.

“The ineffectiveness of sanctions compliance provides income to the junta,” says the report, which sought to determine to what extent international financial sanctions meet their goal of cutting off the Burmese military’s access to economic resources and weapons.

Since the return of the army to power, the social situation in Burma has deteriorated sharply amid a general rejection of the dictatorship by the population, which the people demonstrated by making great collective and individual sacrifices in the hope of weakening the junta.

Government employees carry out constant strikes at the expense of their salaries or the risk of losing their jobs, parents do not send their children to school, and families refuse to pay electricity bills despite threats to be left without this service.

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The report’s authors note that it is troubling that the sanctions are not serving their purpose, in large part because neighboring countries and the region have been excluded from them, particularly Singapore, which is the regional financial hub.

For their part, Australia, Japan and South Korea condemned the coup, but then did not impose financial sanctions.

The military junta needs weapons to exercise control over the population, against which it launches “indiscriminate attacks”, while artillery is used against peaceful protesters, meaning that transferring weapons to it facilitates the commission of crimes against civilians, says the United Nations.

The report notes that Russia exported warplanes and armored vehicles to Burma after the coup, while some Asian countries maintained their military cooperation and Japan continued its training program.

The United Nations asked countries to coordinate how to financially isolate the military council, which in the budget it approved for the period 2022-2023 led to increased defense spending and reduced spending on education and health.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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