Obama renews executive authority for US sanctions on Myanmar for another year

Associated Press

President Barack Obama has renewed for a year his authority to maintain U.S. sanctions against Myanmar.

The White House notified Congress Friday, saying that despite significant progress, concerns persist over conflict and human rights abuses, particularly in ethnic minority areas and Rakhine State.

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The announcement comes as international concern mounts over the plight of thousands of minority Rohingya (ROH'-hin-GAH') Muslims who have fled sectarian violence and apartheid-like conditions in Myanmar and are stranded in boats in the Andaman Sea.

The U.S. eased broad economic sanctions in 2012 to reward Myanmar's shift from direct military rule but still restricts business with some individuals and companies.

A National Security Council spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, said the U.S. will continue to review sanctions policies as it monitors Myanmar's progress on political and economic reform.