EU agrees to prepare sanctions on Myanmar generals

Brussels European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to prepare sanctions against Myanmar generals over the killings of Rohingya Muslims and to strengthen the EU arms embargo, accusing state security forces of grave human rights abuses.

The foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last week asked EU's Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini to draw up a list of names to be hit with EU travel bans and asset freezes, Reuters reported.

In a statement, the EU ministers called for targeted restrictive measures against senior military officers of the Myanmar armed forces responsible for serious and systematic human rights violations without delay.

The measures would be the EU's toughest yet to try to hold the Myanmar military accountable for the abuses, likely joining US and Canadian sanctions already in place. The EU foreign ministers also want to strengthen the bloc's 1990s-era arms embargo on the Southeast Asian country that remains in place, though they did not give details.

The United Nations has described Myanmar's military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim community as "ethnic cleansing". More than 680,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Rakhine state to Bangladesh.

Source: International Islamic News Agency