Biden says U.S. to sanction Myanmar military leaders over coup

Feb 11 , 2021. 2 hours ago – 04:57 KYODO NEWS

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the White House in Washington on Jan. 21, 2021. (UPI/Kyodo)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced plans to sanction Myanmar military leaders behind last week’s coup and called state violence against protesters “unacceptable,” in the latest U.S. effort toward helping the Southeast Asian country return to a democratic path.

The first round of sanction targets will be identified this week and the administration will also impose export controls and freeze U.S. assets that benefit the Myanmar government, he said.

“As protests grow, violence against those asserting their democratic rights is unacceptable and we’re going to keep calling it out. The people of Burma are making their voices heard and the world is watching,” Biden said in his remarks on his administration’s response to the Feb. 1 coup.

“We’ll be ready to impose additional measures, and we’ll continue to work with our international partners to urge other nations to join us in these efforts,” he added.

He also reiterated his call for the Myanmar military to “immediately” release detained democratic political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and relinquish the power it has seized.

While beginning to impose “consequences” on the leaders of the coup, Biden noted that the United States will maintain its support for health care, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the people of Myanmar directly.