United States Threatens Sanctions Against Myanmar After Military Coup

United States President Joe Biden has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar after the country’s military seized power and detained top government officials, including state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.

In a statement on Feb. 1, Biden said that the military takeover in Myanmar, also known as Burma, “will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.”

Biden condemned the military’s actions, including the detention of top government officials and declaration of a national state of emergency over alleged voter fraud during the Nov. 8 elections, as a “direct assault in the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.”

“In a democracy, force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election,” Biden said.

“The United States will stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack,” Biden also said.

Biden also called for the international community to urge the Burmese military “to immediately relinquish the power they have seized, release the activists and officials they have detained, lift all telecommunications restrictions, and refrain from violence against civilians.”

Biden also warned that the U.S. “is taking note of those who stand with the people of Burma in this difficult hour.”

“We will work with our partners throughout the region and the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold accountable those responsible for overturning Burma’s democratic transition,” Biden said.

White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that the U.S. already had “intensive” talks with its allies about the situation in Myanmar, but did not provide any “additional steps… to predict at this time” when asked about other actions the government might take aside from the sanctions.

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