Myanmar, also known as Burma, has been a US democracy promotion project for decades, though there have been recent and serious concerns about its backsliding into authoritarianism
The Joe Biden-led United States administration has announced sanctions on two more officials of the Myanmar military following a coup earlier this month that toppled the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi government.
"We will not hesitate to take further action against those who perpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people. We will not waiver in our support for the people of Burma," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, using Myanmar's former name.
"US stands with people of Burma who demand the restoration of a democratically elected government. Today’s designations are another step to promote accountability for military leaders who perpetrate violence and attempt to suppress the will of people," he added.
The US had earlier imposed sanctions on 10 current and retired top-ranking leaders of Myanmar's military. In a statement, the treasury department had said it was freezing US-based assets belonging to the sanctioned individuals.
President Joe Biden had also ordered a redirection of $42.4 million of assistance away from the Myanmar government.
"As part of today's actions, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will redirect $42.4 million of assistance away from work that benefits the Government of Myanmar, including support for reforming economic policy, to programs that support and strengthen civil society and the private sector," read a fact sheet by the White House.
However, the USAID will continue its support to the people of Myanmar with approximately $69 million in bilateral programs that will provide direct benefits to sustain and improve the health of the people of Myanmar, including efforts to maintain democratic space, foster food security, support independent media, and promote peace and reconciliation in conflict-affected regions.
"Today's sanctions need not be permanent... the results of Myanmar's November 8, 2021 elections must be respected, and Parliament should be convened at the earliest opportunity," said the White House in the statement.
Myanmar has been a US democracy promotion project for decades, though there have been recent and serious concerns about its backsliding into authoritarianism.
The US had removed sanctions on Myanmar after its transition to democracy.