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EU extends Myanmar arms sales embargo

The Council of European Union on Monday, April 29 extended a ban on selling arms to Myanmar and prolonged sanctions against high-ranking officials over their role in the Rohingya crisis.

The measures, which include an embargo on weapons and other equipment that could be used for repression, will stay in place until at least April 30, 2020, the European Council said in a release.

The sanctions regime includes an embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression, a ban the export of dual-use goods to the military and border guard police, restrictions on equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression, and military training or military cooperation with the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw).

The extension includes the prolongation of “targeted restrictive measures” on 14 senior military and border officials over alleged human rights violations in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, including killings and sexual violence, barring them from travelling to or through the European bloc and freezing any assets they hold in Europe.

The Council adopted conclusions on Myanmar on December 10 and expressing deep concern over the findings of the U.N. Human Rights Council independent international fact-finding mission that concluded gross human rights violations were committed in particular by the Tatmadaw.

In August 2017, around 740,000 Rohingya refugees fled a military crackdown in northern Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh, where 300,000 members of the persecuted Muslim minority were already in camps.

Many Rohingya refugees said there had been mass killing and rapes, and U.N. officials have said the crackdown needs a genocide investigation.

With reporting from AFP.

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