More groups urge for caution in lifting Myanmar sanctions

    Ethnic minority groups have added their voice to an appeal for caution as more donors lift their sanctions against Myanmar.

    The suspension of sanctions should be complemented by the implementation of clear and specific benchmarks that will maintain pressure on the government to produce genuine reforms, experts and ethnic group leaders said, according to IRIN News.

    The call came as the European Union opened an office in Myanmar to further demonstrate its support for ongoing reforms in the country. EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton inaugurated the office during her visit to Myanmar Saturday (April 28). It will be led by Andreas List.

    The ethnic groups’ call echoes the appeal made April 25 by several human rights group in an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama. The groups proposed linking the gradual lifting of sanctions to progress on outstanding issues like humanitarian access to conflict areas.

    Ethnic groups, for their part, also highlighted the need for reconciliation between the government and Myanmar’s ethnic minorities if “real progress towards democracy” is to be achieved.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.