The U.S. continues to impose sanctions of Myanmar junta officials in response to the ongoing military takeover.

The U.S. Treasury Department said the sanctions aim to target the chief of police and two military units linked to the deadly repression of protests against the army’s coup, as Washington warned of more action.

“In response to escalating violence in Burma, the United States is designating two officials and two military units today. We call again on the military regime to release those unjustly detained, halt the brutal killings, and return power to the democratically elected government,” Secretary Anthony Blinken said.

“Today’s actions send a strong signal that we will follow through on our pledges to continue to take action against coup leaders and those who perpetrate violence,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

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The two military officials subject to the sanctions are reported to be Than Hlaing, a military officer who was appointed to lead the police force after the coup, and Lieutenant General Aung Soe, a special operations commander in charge of cracking down on protests, according to Reuters.

The two military units subject to the sanctions are reported to be the Myanmar military’s 77th Light Infantry Division and 33rd Light Infantry Division, according to Reuters.

The U.S. already imposed sanctions previously on the Myanmar military’s 33rd Light Infantry Division for their role in the military’s 2017 assault on Rohingya.

U.S. President Joe Biden imposed initial sanctions beginning Feb. 11, but the Myanmar junta has shown disregard for the sanctions as they have continued to use deadly force against pro-democracy protesters. 

“The U.S. Government is taking steps to prevent the generals from improperly having access to the 1 billion dollars in Burmese government funds held in the U.S.,” Biden said.

Biden also signed an executive order to “sanction the military leaders who directed the coup, their business interests, as well as close family members.”

“We’re freezing U.S. assets that benefit the Burmese government, while maintaining our support for healthcare, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the people of Burma directly,” Biden said.

The Myanmar military have been continuing their brutal crackdowns of protests. Several journalists and protesters have been detained. Several protesters have also been killed.

The death count has now risen to above 200.

The military and police forces have also begun using bulldozers to vandalize people’s cars. 

“Video footage shows security forces riding pickup trucks while apparently indiscriminately firing live ammunition in multiple directions, including into people’s homes,” the U.S. Treasury said.

Written ByLinn Win

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