US hits Myanmar general in new global rights sanctions
Agence France-Presse – Published at 10:37 PM December 21, 2017
Others hit with sanctions included Benjamin Bol Mel, who has served as an adviser to South Sudan President Salva Kiir, and former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh
The United States slapped sanctions on a Myanmar general accused of leading an ethnic cleansing campaign against Rohingya villagers on Thursday, amid a raft of new sanctions against alleged rights abusers worldwide.
Maung Maung Soe is among the first 14 senior figures – who also include former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh and Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of a former Uzbek leader – blacklisted under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
Maung Maung Soe was in charge of the operation that drove more than 655,000 Rohingya to flee mostly Buddhist Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Myanmar army has previously issued a report denying all allegations of rape and killings by security forces.
The Myanmar government spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the latest US sanctions. “Today’s actions advance our values and promote the security of the United States, our allies and our partners,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.
“We must lead by example, and today’s announcement of sanctions demonstrates the United States will continue to pursue tangible and significant consequences for those who commit serious human rights abuse and engage in corruption.”
The global act, based on a previous US law that targeted Russian officials, was passed in late 2016 and US diplomats and Treasury officials have spent a year compiling a list of those they regard as among the world’s worst offenders.