Accessibility links

Breaking News

New Zealand Imposes Sanctions on Myanmar’s Military After Coup

Demonstrators in traditional costumes display a picture of Myanmar president Win Myint during a protest march against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, Feb. 11, 2021.

New Zealand has imposed a travel ban and cut ties with military leaders in Myanmar who ousted the Southeast Asian nation’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

New Zealand has said it does not recognize the legitimacy of the military-led government in Myanmar. Army generals seized power in the Southeast Asian nation, also known as Burma, earlier this month.

Authorities in Wellington have called for the release of all detained political leaders and for restoration of civilian rule.

The government is implementing a travel ban on Myanmar's military leaders.

Wellington has said it will ensure its overseas aid program would not include projects that would benefit Myanmar's military leaders.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that strict measures were needed.

“It sends a fairly clear message that the situation in Myanmar in terms of the military coup and government takeover is not to be tolerated,” Mahuta said. “Look, the people of Myanmar over the last 10 years have had two multiparty elections and a democratically designated government, and the transition to democracy has not been an easy pathway.”

Hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators gathered Tuesday outside the New Zealand Parliament protesting the actions of Myanmar’s military.

Myanmar was controlled by a repressive military government from 1962-2011. The army still retained influence during the transition to democracy.

The military seized control of the country last week, just hours before the country’s second democratically elected parliament was due to start. Generals had alleged fraud in November’s election. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory with more than 80% of the vote. She is thought to be under house arrest along with other colleagues and aides.

New Zealand has joined other countries calling for a special session at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Myanmar to consider the impact of the military takeover on human rights.