Brinken said the U.S. is exploring “extra measures” against Burmese military leaders.

Read Time:2 Minute, 46 Second

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken speaks at a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 14, 2021.

Olivier Dulieri | Reuters

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday that as the situation continues to deteriorate, the United States is exploring more actions against Myanmar’s ruling military government.

“In the 10 months after the military coup, … the crisis will only continue to worsen,” Brinken said at a press conference in Malaysia as part of his Southeast Asia trip to improve relations with the region.

“In the coming weeks and months, it will be very important to see what additional steps and measures we can take individually or collectively to put pressure on the regime and return the country to a democratic track,” he said in a statement. Said at the joint press conference. Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.

The Burmese military government overthrew the former leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup in February, triggering fierce clashes between her supporters and the military.

After finding her guilty of incitement and violating coronavirus restrictions, a special court in the military country sentenced her to four years in prison last week.

Brinken said that the United States is also “actively studying” whether the military government’s treatment of the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority constitutes genocide.

Last week, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom jointly imposed sanctions on “military actors responsible for violence and repression” who violated human rights in Myanmar.

However, Peter Mumford, head of Southeast Asia and South Asia operations of the Eurasian Group, pointed out that the sanctions imposed by the United States and the international community have little effect on forcing the military government to change its course.

I actually think that the United States can hardly change what is happening in Myanmar.

Peter Mumford

Head of Southeast Asia and South Asia Practice, Eurasia Group

“What Washington is trying to do is to put more pressure on the Myanmar military government, of course, to avoid serious violence and put the country back on the road to elections,” Mumford told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday. .

He added: “Considering the concerns about the possible negative impact on the population, the extent to which the United States and other countries really want to impose sanctions is a question.” “So in reality, I think there is little in the United States that can change what is happening in Myanmar. matter.”

The Malaysian Foreign Minister also stated at the same press conference as Brinken that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations needs to “do some introspection” on the incident in Myanmar.

The 10-member ASEAN Group has been working hard to get the Myanmar military government to stick to the five-point consensus plan reached earlier this year, which includes ending violence.

“We can’t go on like this,” Saifuding said. He added that ASEAN needs to go beyond the principle of “non-interference” to deal with the crisis in Myanmar.

“ASEAN should also consider the principle of non-indifference, because what happened in Myanmar has gone out of Myanmar. It has gone to Bangladesh, and Malaysia now hosts nearly 200,000 Rohingya refugees,” he said.

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