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Canada, Britain sanction Myanmar military leaders over coup

Canada and Britain sanctioned Myanmar's military leaders on Thursday over seizing the government earlier this month in a coup. Photo by Xiao Long/ UPI
Canada and Britain sanctioned Myanmar's military leaders on Thursday over seizing the government earlier this month in a coup. Photo by Xiao Long/ UPI | License Photo

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- In following the United States' lead, both Canada and Britain imposed sanctions against Myanmar's military officials for seizing control of the country's government in a coup committed early this month.

In separate statements on Thursday, Canada and Britain said they worked in tandem to bring the sanctions against the military leaders to send a message that there will be consequences for violating human rights and for denying the people of Myanmar their democratic rights.

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"We, alongside our international allies, will hold the Myanmar military to account for their violations of human rights and pursue justice for the Myanmar people," Britain's foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said in a statement.

Canada said it blacklisted nine officials, freezing their Canadian assets and barring citizens of the commonwealth nation from doing business with them.

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Britain said it enforced asset freezes and travel bans on three Myanmar military members and was putting in place measures to prevent aid from being diverted from vulnerable communities in the country to the military.

"Canada stands with the people of Myanmar in their quest for democracy and human rights," Marc Garneau, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement. "We work alongside our international partners who call for the restoration of the democratically elected government and we echo their calls for the Myanmar military to release those who have been unjustly detained in the military takeover."

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Led by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the military known as the Tatmadaw seized control of Myanmar in a coup on Feb. 1 and arrested activists and civilian leaders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, before calling a yearlong state of emergency and establishing an State Administrative Council.

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The move has been widely rebuked by the international community, including the United States, which imposed similar sanctions on Feb. 11 as those by Canada and Britain, designating six current and former military officers who led the Feb. 1 coup, four members of the newly established State Administrative Council and three military-owned businesses.

"The United States welcomes sanctions by [Britain] and [Canada] on those responsible for the coup in Burma," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said via Twitter on Thursday referring to the country by its former name. "We urge the international community to send a unified message to promote accountability. The Burmese military must restore the democratically elected government."

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