Brussels: The European Union policy chief has said that in view of the escalating violence in Myanmar, increased international preventive action is required, including an arms embargo and the bloc stands ready to impose further sanctions against the military regime.
"The targeting of civilians and humanitarian actors is unacceptable and a blatant violation of human rights and international law, including humanitarian law. Full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need, and the full protection, safety and security of humanitarian and medical personnel must be ensured," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a statement on Thursday.
"Recent attacks on civilians in many parts of Myanmar, and most recently in Kayah and Karen States, have resulted in thousands of people being displaced. The appalling act of violence perpetrated by the military regime in Kayah State on 24 December, killing and burning more than 35 people, including women and children, as well as humanitarian workers, underscores the urgent need to hold those responsible accountable," the statement added.
"In view of the escalating violence in Myanmar, increased international preventive action is required, including an arms embargo. The EU also stands ready to impose further sanctions against the military regime," said Borrell.
Since the military coup on 1 February, the EU has imposed targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military, its leaders and entities. In addition, EU financial assistance to the government was halted and assistance that could be seen as legitimising the military regime was frozen, the statement read.
The EU supports the efforts of the United Nations Special Envoy on Myanmar, as well as the ASEAN Five Point Consensus, working towards a peaceful resolution of the current crisis in Myanmar, said Borrell.
Further, he added that the EU continues to provide humanitarian assistance, in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
This year, it allocated euro 24.5 million in humanitarian aid to address the immediate needs of displaced and conflict-affected communities and related to COVID-19, as well as euro 65 million in support of basic needs of the civilian population, including education and livelihoods, said Borrell.