Biden Imposes Sanctions On Myanmar Coup Leaders As Protest Crackdown Violence Grows
President Biden announced new sanctions targeting Myanmar’s military leaders at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. It follows the formal suspension of all US aid to the country after the US formally dubbed the military arrest and detention of civilian leaders a coup d’état.
The action is expected to be executed later the same day via an executive order under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which gives the commander-in-chief “wide latitude to impose economic sanctions once he declares a national emergency exists,” according to Reuters.
“I’m announcing a series of actions that we’re taking to begin imposing consequences on the leaders of the coup,” Pres. Biden says, about the military regime in Myanmar. https://t.co/vwcYALwgfC pic.twitter.com/84pAFFD3Gb
— ABC News (@ABC) February 10, 2021
It includes the freezing of “$1 billion in Burmese funds” that are currently held in US institutions. While not intended to negatively impact the country’s population, Biden said the action will “sanction the military leaders who sanctioned the coup” with specific army officials to be named later in the week.
The move is further expected to have the bipartisan support of Congress and comes ten days after the shock events of Feb.1 wherein Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar’s governing National League for Democracy (NLD) and President Win Myint and other civilian leaders were “taken” during military raids on their homes in the early morning hours.
A military channel then announced in an emergency broadcast that the army under commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing will retain control of the country for at least a year using ‘state of emergency’ powers. Since then internet has been cut to much of the country in order to prevent Kyi’s supporters from organizing and taking to the streets, which the detained civilian leadership is reportedly calling for.
There’s been reports of intensifying clashes with police and military who have had control of the cities and streets. Yet despite this tens of thousands of citizens have still gathered in various cities to demand the restoration of the elected government.
In photos: Protests against the military coup in Myanmar have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people. The mood on the streets is both festive and tense, and the three-finger salute — a symbol from the “Hunger Games” series — can be seen everywhere. https://t.co/Y3j769tuxi
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 10, 2021
While there’s been far-reaching efforts of the military to impose a total information blackout over Myanmar, enough protest images and footage are still getting out to enable to UN on Tuesday to denounce what it called “disproportionate force” used against peaceful protesters.
Meanwhile Axios writes that “Hours after the UN statement, a woman was critically wounded after being shot in the head as police fired live rounds, rubber bullets and water cannon during another massive anti-coup rally in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw.”
Wed, 02/10/2021 – 18:05