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Human rights expert slams global arms trade that bolsters Myanmar military crackdown

Human rights expert slams global arms trade that bolsters Myanmar military crackdown
The billion-dollar arms trade is ‘helping sustain the junta’s campaign of violence against civilians’ across Myanmar

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Human Rights Expert Urges Governments to End Arms Trade with Myanmar's Military

In a report to the U.N. human rights council, Thomas Andrews, a prominent human rights expert, has called on governments to halt the billion-dollar arms trade with Myanmar’s military. Andrews accused international finance systems of enabling the military junta's brutal campaign of violence against civilians in Myanmar. Since the military junta seized power in February 2021, at least 5,280 civilians have been killed, and over 3 million people have been displaced.

Andrews identified 16 foreign banks that facilitated transactions related to military procurement by the junta, and urged financial institutions to stop facilitating transactions with banks controlled by the military junta. He also called for governments to sanction junta-controlled banks, including Myanmar Economic Bank. The special rapporteur garnered support from member states, including the United States, for his appeal.

Andrews emphasized the need for international action to support the people of Myanmar and prevent further atrocities. He pointed out that civilian resistance forces are gaining ground, and the junta is facing significant challenges. However, he warned that the junta is intensifying its brutal attacks on civilian populations. Andrews urged the international community to take decisive action to stop the flow of sophisticated weapons of war that are being used to attack innocent Myanmar civilians.