Biden announces sanctions against Myanmar military leaders following coup

Many Burmese military leaders are already under sanctions due to their treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority

Updated: February 10, 2021 - 3:57pm

President Biden on Wednesday ordered sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar, which earlier this month executed a coup against the nation's leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior political figures. 

Biden said he is issuing an executive order that will stop Myanmar's generals from accessing close to $1 billion of assets held in the United States. 

"The military must relinquish power it seized and demonstrate respect for the will of the people of Burma," said Biden, also saying that further sanctions are to come.

The goal of the new sanctions will be to allow the Biden administration to freeze the U.S. assets of Myanmar's military leaders, while making sure to continue funding societally beneficial programs in the Southeast Asian country, like health care programs and civil society groups. 

"The people of Burma are making their voices heard, and the world is watching. We’ll be ready to impose additional measures and we’ll continue to work with our international partners to urge other nations to join us in these efforts," said the president. 

All week, large crowds have been gathering on the streets of Myanmar to protest against the military takeover of the government. Security forces have been amplified against the crowds, and earlier this week, the political headquarters of Suu Kyi were raided. 

It is unclear what, if any, impact the financial sanction will have against the leaders of Myanmar's military regime.