A top Myanmar general sanctioned by the European Union for his role in the brutal crackdown on ethnic Rohingya Muslims has been fired.
The military announced Monday that Major General Maung Maung Soe, the former head of the military's western command in Rakhine state, had been dismissed for his poor performance in response to attacks by Rohingya militants last August.
The military launched a major counteroffensive that led nearly 700,000 Rohingyas to escape to neighboring Bangladesh. Rohingya witnesses and human rights activists have accused the armed forces of committing murder, rape and arson in a campaign the United Nations and the United States maintain is ethnic cleansing.
Six other senior Myanmar military officials were sanctioned along with Maung Maung Soe by the EU Monday for "the atrocities and serious human rights violations" against the Rohingya population. Myanmar said one of the seven sanctioned officials, Lieutenant General Aung Kyaw Zaw, was permitted to resign his post in May.
Canada also imposed sanctions Monday against the seven Myanmar military officials.
In December of 2017, the United States sanctioned Maung Maung Soe for his role the crackdown on the Rohingya.
The U.S. is also ceasing the issuance of visas to current and former senior leaders of the Myanmar military.
In a statement, the U.S. State Department expressed its support for actions taken by Canada and European Union “to continue the promotion of accountability for the atrocities” in Rakhine state.
State Department correspondent Nike Ching contributed to this report