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EU extends Burma sanctions for six

Subject: EU extends Burma sanctions for six months

EU extends Burma sanctions for six months

LUXEMBOURG, April 29 (AFP) - European Union foreign ministers agreed Tuesday 
to extend for six months a package of sanctions on Burma designed to put 
pressure on the country's military rulers over human rights abuses.

Under the sanctions, introduced last October, members of Burma's ruling junta 
and senior members of the military or security forces are banned from 
travelling to Europe. Contacts at ministerial or senior official level are 
also frozen.

The measures strengthened an existing package that includes an embargo on the 
sale of arms, munitions and military equipment to Burma, a ban on military 
cooperation and the suspension of non-humanitarian aid or development 

Burma has also been stripped of its preferential access to EU markets but EU 
governments have ruled out broader economic sanctions. The United States last 
week imposed a ban on new investment in the southeast Asian country.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions has estimated that 
800,000 people are currently being forced to work on government or military 
projects in Burma.

Amnesty International recently described 1996 as the worst year for human 
rights in Burma this decade, with more than 2,000 people arrested for calling 
for reforms and severe restrictions placed on opposition leader Aung San Suu 
Kyi's freedom of movement and speech.