In a coordinated effort with Canada and the United Kingdom, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control published a new directive Oct. 31 that prohibits certain financial services by US persons to or for the benefit of Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise, as well as five military regime appointed officials and officers.
The sanctions package comes as part of the US’s concerted efforts with international partners to restrict the sale and transfer of arms and finance in response to ongoing and worsening aerial attacks, including against civilians in Myanmar. In 2022, alone there were over 600 reported airstrikes perpetrated by the Myanmar military.
Since the coup in February 2021, at least 3,857 have been killed by the military, and at least 1.2 million have had to flee their homes due to violence, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office
The announcement follows a report from UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews, which called for further coordinated sanctions to prevent arms dealers bypassing restrictions.
This sanctions action against MOGE seeks to degrade the regime’s ability to purchase weapons to carry out atrocities against the people of Burma. Additionally, OFAC designated three entities and five individuals connected to Burma’s military regime pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14014. These actions are occurring in alignment with designations by both the United Kingdom and Canada.
The military regime officials and supporters that Treasury is designating today have also been, designated by at least the UK, Canada or the European Union. These actions are a part of the ongoing, unified strategy of the United States and our partners to combat the Burma military regime’s atrocities.
“Today’s action, taken in coordination with Canada and the United Kingdom, maintains our collective pressure on Burma’s military and denies the regime access to arms and supplies necessary to commit its violent acts,” said Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Collectively, we remain committed to degrading the regime’s evasion tactics and continuing to hold the regime accountable for its violence.”
OFAC is issuing Directive 1 under E.O. 14014, “Prohibitions Related to Financial Services to or for the Benefit of Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise” (the “MOGE Financial Services Directive”), which prohibits U.S. persons from the provision, exportation, or re-exportation, directly or indirectly, of financial services to or for the benefit of MOGE or its property or interests in property. These prohibitions will take effect on December 15, 2023.
MOGE is a Burmese state-owned enterprise involved in the extraction, production, and distribution of oil and gas in Burma and administers large offshore oil and gas fields through lucrative joint ventures with foreign entities. MOGE was previously designated by the European Union on February 21, 2022, and remains the largest single source of foreign revenue for Burma’s military regime, providing hundreds of millions of dollars each year. OFAC’s action today builds on previous designation actions against MOGE leadership and seeks to further restrict the regime’s access to U.S. dollars, which it uses to procure weapons and other equipment from abroad. This action will limit the regime’s ability to carry out violent attacks against its own citizens.
Treasury also is targetings three entities who have assisted the military regime in its continued importation of arms, dual-use goods, and other materials, including from sanctioned entities in Russia and other countries. Since the coup, the total value of imports by the Burmese military is estimated to exceed $1 billion. These imports have facilitated the military regime’s ongoing brutality against on the people of Burma. OFAC’s actions further align our measures with partners and allies to disrupt the regime’s military supply chain, complicate its ability to maintain and repair its weapons, and reduce the regime’s access to imported arms and materiel.