President Biden announced on Wednesday that he signed an executive order that will sanction Myanmar’s military leaders, their families, and some businesses in response to the country’s February 1st coup.
Biden said he approved an order “enabling us to immediately sanction the military leaders who directed the coup, their business interests, as well as close family members.” He said the US will identify the targets of the first round of sanctions later this week.
The US government is not allowing Myanmar’s military leaders to access $1 billion in Burmese funds that are held in the US. Biden said he will also impose “strict export controls” and is “freezing US assets” that can benefit Myanmar’s military.
Since Myanmar’s military took control of the government, after claiming fraud in the country’s November elections, President Biden has demanded that the generals step down, which he repeated on Wednesday. “The military must relinquish the power it seized and demonstrate respect for the will of the people of Burma as expressed in their November 8th election,” he said.
Biden also made it clear that the US is keeping an eye on protests in Myanmar and threatened further intervention. “As protests grow, violence against those asserting their democratic rights is unacceptable, and we’re going to keep calling it out,” he said. “We’ll be ready to impose additional measures.”