US slaps fresh sanctions on Myanmar after genocide designation

Move hits military commanders and businesses behind 'atrocities' against civilians

Myanmar's 66th Light Infantry Division has been accused of carrying out a December 2021 massacre in which civilians 'were captured, tortured and killed, including some whom members of the military reportedly burnt alive'. AFP

The US on Friday announced new sanctions against Myanmar's military for “atrocities” against civilians following last year's coup, days after Washington concluded that the military had committed genocide against the country's mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.

“Brutality and oppression have become trademarks of the Burmese military regime's rule,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

“Treasury is committed to holding accountable those who are responsible for the continuing violence and repression.”

The sanctions hit two military commanders, an infantry division as well as three businessmen and four businesses.

The measures come as Washington aims to increasingly punish the military both for the February 2021 coup that removed Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the violence in 2016 and 2017 against the Rohingya, which Washington declared this week was an attempt to “destroy” the Muslim minority.

The new sanctions apply to Brig Gen Ko Ko Oo and Maj Gen Zaw Hein as well as the 66th Light Infantry Division, which the Treasury said has been accused of carrying out a December 2021 massacre in which civilians “were captured, tortured and killed, including some whom members of the military reportedly burnt alive".

Three people and two companies were also sanctioned for providing arms to the military, while two firms were hit for assisting other businesses that had been sanctioned previously.

Updated: March 25, 2022, 9:58 PM