EU suspends development assistance to Myanmar following coup

The European Union has suspended all development cooperation assistance to Myanmar following the military coup there last month.

The EU informed the World Trade Organization Committee on Trade Facilitation of its decision at the March 3 meeting, a Geneva-based trade official said.

The bloc said it has also put on hold certain development projects in Myanmar after last month’s coup to avoid providing financial support to military authorities, including financial support and technical assistance in government ministries.

The EU added that it was scrutinizing all development assistance to the country to avoid bolstering the military while seeking to maintain support, to the maximum extent, for the general population.

The EU told the WTO it would avoid implementing measures that would affect vulnerable people and that it was closely coordinating among member EU states.

Under the TFA, developed members at the WTO usually provide assistance to developing members to help implement the Agreement such as through grants and training to modernize customs operations.

The latest in a series of increasingly violent crackdowns by Myanmar’s security apparatus left at least 34 dead across the nation on Wednesday, March 3, just days after 18 protestors were killed on Sunday. The violence comes as the deadliest day since Myanmar’s military seized control of the government on Feb 1.

Protestors continue to call for the restoration of democracy and freedom for the detained head of government, Aung San Suu Kyi.

A majority of the violence took place in the capital city of Yangon, where security forces have also arrested hundreds of people. The crisis on the streets continues to grow and there still seems to be littler international efforts to intervene.

Reports of the killings on Wednesday may come as the catalyst for more international attention with the United Nations Security Council slated, at the request of the UK, to hold a private discussion on Friday regarding the matter.

The AP reports that the US special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York, “ that she receives some 2000 messages per day from people inside Myanmar, many “who are really desperate to see action from the international community.”

The eruption of violence in Myanmar comes as nothing new to its citizens. The small nation has experienced multiple military takeovers since its independence from the UK was restored in 1948. The protestors seem undeterred by the violence and more are expected in the coming days.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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