A United Nations fact-finding mission called on Monday for an embargo on arms sales to Myanmar and for targeted sanctions on businesses with connections to the military after finding they are funding human rights abuses.
UN investigators detailed how businesses run by Myanmar’s army, also known as the Tatmadaw, are engaged in such violations and provide financial support for military operations such as efforts to force Muslim Rohingya out of Rakhine state in what has been branded a genocide.
The revenue that these military businesses generate strengthens the Tatmadaw’s autonomy from elected civilian oversight and provides financial support for the Tatmadaw’s operations with their wide array of international human rights and humanitarian law abuses, Marzuki Darusman, the Indonesian human rights lawyer who chairs the fact-finding mission, said in a statement.
Israel was identified as one of seven countries that had traded arms with Myanmar since 2017.
State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries agreed to provide four Super-Dvora Mk III fast attack craft to the Myanmar Navy, the report said, with two delivered in April 2017.
The private Israeli firm, TAR Ideal Concepts, was also named in the report.
The report said:
Israel in particular allowed the transfer of arms covered by the ATT [Arms Trade Treaty] at a time when it had knowledge, or ought to have had knowledge, that they would be used in the commission of serious crimes under international law.
The report urged the UN and member governments to immediately impose targeted sanctions against companies run by the military and suggested carrying out business with firms unaffiliated with the military instead.
Watchdog Global Witness called the report a rallying cry.
Campaign leader Paul Donowitz said:
Global governments and companies who find themselves connected to a military company can therefore no longer plead ignorance.
The UN released a 444-page report in 2018 that said the Myanmar military’s persecution of the stateless Rohingya Muslims warranted the charges of genocide.
Earlier this year Amnesty International denounced the Israeli government for its arms sales to countries accused of severe human rights violations, including Myanmar.
The Amnesty report said:
Israeli companies continue to export weapons to countries that systematically violate human rights.
Often these weapons reach their destination after a series of transactions, thereby skirting international monitoring and the rules of Israel itself.
Israel has long been accused of selling weapons to human rights violators despite international arms embargos, including to South Africa during Apartheid, Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, and to South Sudan during the brutal civil war.
Source: Palestine Chronicle