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EU prepares new Myanmar sanctions over Rohingya crackdown

February 26, 2018

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, right, speaks with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. European Union foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday Feb. 26 to debate ways to revive Middle East peace efforts and discuss the crisis in Venezuela. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union foreign ministers have tasked the EU’s top diplomat with drawing up a list of sanctions to slap on senior Myanmar military officers over rights abuses against the Rohingya minority.

The ministers on Monday also ordered EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to propose ways to toughen an EU embargo blocking the provision of arms and equipment that could be used for internal repression.

They said the measures are needed “in light of the disproportionate use of force and widespread and systematic grave human rights violations committed by the military and security forces.”

About 700,000 Rohingya have fled towns and villages in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state since August to escape a military crackdown.

Negotiations for their return are underway but many fear their safety and well-being are not guaranteed.

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