The United Nations human rights office on Friday called on states to step in to cut off Myanmar’s army’s access to revenue and weapons supplies to end its crackdown on the population.

The UN Human Rights Council has recommended that Myanmar follow up on a report by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on the economic interests of the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw).

The report reiterates the FFM’s recommendations to impose arms and financial sanctions on the Tatmadaw and its economic interests, the UN Human Rights Office said in a statement. while at the same time highlighting that such measures must respect human rights and have efforts to mitigate the expected socio-economic impacts. Several states continue to supply Myanmar with arms and engage in military cooperation.

The report cited the plight of the Myanmar people, saying that since seizing control of state organs, the so-called State Administration Council has continued to repress and terrorize the people of Myanmar, failing to govern in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

While some progress has been made on the FFM’s recommendations to economically isolate the Tatmod, more important gaps remain after the coup. According to the report, targeted measures should particularly focus on the military’s access to foreign exchange.

The organization called on the international community to support the people of Myanmar and strengthen efforts to ensure financial isolation of the military in a coordinated manner. It also said that trade unions and national unity governments should implement appropriate sanctions in consultation with civil society and democratic movements to determine the extent of their influence.

The organization claims that Myanmar’s military authorities are clearly prioritizing their military operations over the welfare of the population and economic recovery. A comparison with the previous annual government budget shows that the military authorities have increased defense spending in the 2022-23 budget. On the other hand, it reduced the allocation to education, health and social welfare.

Poverty in Myanmar has at least doubled since the military coup and the public health system has effectively collapsed. Even more than half of school-age children have not had access to education for two academic years. Some states and companies continue to do business with military-owned enterprises in some sectors.

To crack down on the military government, the agency said, all businesses operating in Myanmar or sourcing from the country should take action to prevent them from benefiting militarily and economically.

(September 17)