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US puts sanctions on two Myanmar generals over coup

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    Reuters

Washington, United States   /   Tue, February 23, 2021   /   01:15 pm
US puts sanctions on two Myanmar generals over coup General Maung Maung Kyaw (center), newly appointed commander of Myanmar Air Force, stands in formation with senior military officials as they listen to the address of Myanmar military commander-in-chief Senior during the second day of 'Sin Phyu Shin' joint military exercises in Ayeyarwaddy delta region, on February 3, 2018. The two-day military exercise is the biggest since 1997, involving different armed forces divisions. (Agence France Presse/Lynn Bo Bo)

The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on two members of Myanmar's military junta over the country's Feb. 1 coup.

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said the move took aim at Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun and General Maung Maung Kyaw.

"The military must reverse its actions and urgently restore the democratically elected government in Burma, or the Treasury Department will not hesitate to take further action," the department said in a statement.

The move freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

"We will not hesitate to take further action against those who perpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said as quoted by Agence France-Presse.

He called on the regime to end attacks on peaceful protesters, journalists and activists, release prisoners detained since the coup, and "restore the democratically elected government."

Washington's announcement came hours after the European Union approved sanctions targeting Myanmar's military and their economic interests.

"All direct financial support from our development system to the government reform programmes is withheld," said Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief. 

But he said the bloc would not curb trade ties for fear it could hurt the wider population.

The Myanmar military has deployed tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against protesters, with isolated incidents of use of live rounds. 

They have also stepped up the presence of security forces in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city and commercial hub.