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EU extends weapons ban on Myanmar for another year

By Nicholas Sakelaris
EU extends weapons ban on Myanmar for another year
Rohingya Muslims enter Bangladesh as they flee violence in Myanmar. File Photo by stringer/EPA-EFE 

April 30 (UPI) -- The European Union has extended for another year a ban on the sale of weapons in Myanmar, as punishment for what it says is the continued persecution, rape and murder of Muslim Rohingya.

The European Council said the renewed sanctions include an embargo on weapons and equipment that can be used for internal repression, an export ban of dual-use goods for use by the military and a restriction on communication monitoring equipment. Training or cooperating with the Myanmar army is also prohibited.

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The sanctions were extended to run until April 30, 2020.

The EU said travel restrictions will also continue for 14 individuals accused of "serious human rights violations" against the minority Rohingya. The sanctioned are barred from entering any EU nation and their assets in those countries are frozen.

The EU council expressed "deep concern over the findings" of a fact-finding mission by the U.N. Human Rights Council in December -- which it said found "gross human rights violations" committed by Myanmar's army.

More than 10,000 Rohingya have died from violence over the last two years and hundreds of thousands have fled, mostly to Bangladesh.

Dozens of Rohingya were killed in a helicopter assault this month, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said. The Myanmar government disputes the toll, saying just six people died in the attack, which occurred as they were collecting bamboo.

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