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EU extends arms embargo on Myanmar for a year

EU extends arms embargo on Myanmar for a year

Naypyidaw : The European Union (EU) has extended its arms embargo against Myanmar by one year, which will restrict the former to sell or export arms and related material to the latter.

However, there was an exception of non-lethal military equipment.

The European Union said that arms sanctions would be continued at least until April 30, 2017, reports Myanmar Times.

In an statement issued by the EU on April 21, it also referred to the ban on sales of “equipment which might be used for internal repression”.

Welcoming the extension of the embargo, Human Rights Watch said it should serve as a standard for other countries that permit arms sales to Myanmar.

“There is no justification for supplying weapons of any kind to a military that is not fully under civilian control, and that continues to abuse civilians in armed conflict throughout the country,” Myanmar Times quoted David Mathieson, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch in Myanmar as saying.

The Human Rights Watch had criticised the lifting of EU economic sanctions three years ago.

“Footage of Russian jets and helicopters being used against insurgents, and sometimes causing civilian casualties, should be a salient reminder of how foreign-supplied weapons can be used for repression,” Mathieson added.

Myanmar acquires weapons from China and Russia. Reportedly, in 2012, the then-president U Thein Sein said the military would no longer buy weapons from North Korea.

Economic sanctions against Myanmar were lifted in April 2013 after suspending them a year earlier. (ANI)