“After careful review of the facts and circumstances, we have assessed that Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma’s ruling party, and Win Myint, the duly elected head of government, were deposed in a military coup on February 1,” a State Department official mentioned Tuesday, utilizing one other identify for Myanmar. “We continue to call on the Burmese military leadership to release them and all other detained civil society and political leaders immediately and unconditionally.”
The United States offers “very little” overseas help on to Myanmar’s authorities and “the government of Burma, including the Burmese military, is already subject to a number of foreign assistance restrictions, including statutory restrictions on military assistance, due to its human rights record.”
The State Department official, talking on a name with reporters, mentioned the administration “will undertake a broader review of our assistance programs to ensure they align with recent events.”
That evaluate will start “immediately” and can “look at any programs that indirectly benefit the military or individual low level officers.”
“At the same time, we will continue programs that benefit the people of Burma directly, including humanitarian assistance and democracy support programs that benefit civil society. A democratic civilian led government has always been Burma’s best opportunity to address the problems the country faces,” the official mentioned.
They additionally advised that sanctions in response to the facility seize by Myanmar’s armed forces Monday stay on the desk.
“As President (Joe) Biden has said, we will take action against those responsible, including through a careful review of our current sanctions posture as it relates to Burma’s military leaders and companies associated with them,” the official mentioned.
Biden warned in a assertion the day prior, “The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy. The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.”
The State Department official didn’t supply a timeline for potential sanctions. Officials informed CNN Monday that the administration might roll out them out as quickly as this week, however a determination to drag the set off would probably be impacted by a need to maneuver alongside allies.
Congressional aides who have been briefed by the State Department Monday informed CNN that members of Congress would probably introduce laws to mandate sanctions if the administration doesn’t impose them.
Myanmar’s armed forces seized management of the nation Monday after detaining prime authorities figures, together with chief Suu Kyi, after months of accelerating friction between the civilian authorities and the military, identified as the Tatmadaw, over alleged election irregularities.
The State Department official informed reporters Tuesday that they’ve “not had direct contact with the military on the ground” for the reason that coup, nor have they been in contact with the detained civilian leaders.
“In terms of our ability to talk to members of the (National League for Democracy) party or Aung San Suu Kyi herself, no we’ve not been able to do that,” they mentioned. “Our understanding is that most of the senior officials are under house arrest, and the NLD leadership as well as some of the regional government figures and civil society figures. But we’ve not been able to reach them, we’ll obviously continue to try to do that.”
The official famous that the US has been “in frequent contact with our like-minded allies and partners in the region,” together with Japan and India, with whom they’re “having daily ongoing conversations.”
“We certainly appreciate that some other countries have better contact with Burmese military than we do so we’re continuing those conversations,” the official mentioned.
CNN’s Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.