14 April 2023
Myanmar Campaign Network Calls for Stronger Australian Sanctions in Response to Myanmar Military’s Deadly Aerial Strike on Civilians in Sagaing Region
Myanmar Campaign Network (MCN) strongly condemns the devastating aerial strike carried out by the Myanmar military on 11 April 2023 in Pa Zi Gyi Village, Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region in northern Myanmar. This attack resulted in the loss of at least 165 lives, including 27 women and 19 children. MCN urges the Australian government to implement additional sanctions on the Myanmar junta in order to prevent foreign revenue from supporting the regime’s actions.
The attack was initiated by a jet fighter dropping two bombs on the village, which was then followed by two Mi-35 helicopter gunships firing machine guns at the crowd. This act of violence against unarmed civilians is a war crime and must not go unanswered. The international community, including the Australian Government, must take decisive action to hold the Myanmar military accountable for its atrocities.
MCN Campaign Manager Tasneem Roc said, “The recent horrific aerial attack on Pa Zi Gyi Village is a stark reminder of the Myanmar military’s ruthless tactics against innocent civilians. The Australian government must strengthen its sanctions on state-owned enterprises and individuals connected to the junta, sending a powerful message that Australia stands firmly against these atrocities.”
While the Australian government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the people of Myanmar by imposing sanctions on 16 individuals and 2 military-owned business conglomerates in February this year, these measures currently account for only 5% of international sanctions action. MCN believes that stronger and more extensive sanctions are needed to effectively pressure the junta and restrict its capacity to buy and produce arms.
MCN calls on the Australian government to expand its sanctions to include state-owned enterprises whose accounts are under the control of the junta. These enterprises, which serve as vital sources of revenue for the military regime, include Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), Myanma Mining Enterprise 1 and 2 (ME1, ME2), and Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE). By targeting these organizations, Australia can significantly undermine the junta’s financial resources and limit its armament capabilities.
MCN strongly urges the imposition of sanctions on arms dealers and enablers who provide crucial support to the Myanmar junta by supplying weapons and equipment that facilitate the regime’s violent actions. MCN also highlights the importance of targeting the aviation fuel supply chain that sustains the junta’s aerial capabilities.
Additionally, MCN urges the Australian government to impose further sanctions on individuals connected to the junta and their immediate family members. This should encompass all current and former members of the junta’s State Administration Council (SAC) and the junta-appointed Union Electoral Commission (UEC).
The recent aerial strike on Pa Zi Gyi Village is yet another reminder of the brutal and inhumane tactics employed by the Myanmar military. By implementing additional sanctions on state-owned enterprises, individuals, and their families, Australia can contribute to the global effort to hold the junta accountable for its actions and ultimately support the restoration of peace and democracy in Myanmar.
Myanmar Campaign Network
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