Myanmar: Canada and UK measures to prevent aviation fuel for the military an important step towards tackling war crimes

Responding to measures announced by the British and Canadian governments to prevent aviation fuel reaching the Myanmar military, Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Researcher Montse Ferrer said:

“Moves to stop the supply of aviation fuel to Myanmar’s military, announced today by the Canadian and British governments, are an important step towards ending companies’ contribution to the military’s war crimes.

“Until now, the inaction of governments has allowed the Myanmar military to use imported aviation fuel to launch air strikes that have devastated families and terrorized civilians.

“While the companies targeted by the UK are key players in the aviation fuel industry in Myanmar, countries must take action on the entire industry to stop the flow of aviation fuel.

“Other states should follow Canada in suspending the direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer – including transit, trans-shipment and brokering – of aviation fuel to Myanmar. This suspension must continue until effective mechanisms are put in place to ensure that aviation fuel will not be used to carry out air strikes that amount to serious violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.” 


On the eve of the two-year anniversary of the military coup of 1 February 2021, several countries have imposed further sanctions on Myanmar, this time focusing on the aviation fuel industry which allows the Myanmar air force to conduct air strikes that result in war crimes, displacement of entire communities, deaths and injuries of civilian women, men and children, and destruction of civilian infrastructure. 

Canada’s government today moved to prohibit the export, sale, supply or shipment of aviation fuel to the Myanmar military. 

The UK also announced sanctions in the aviation fuel industry, targeting two Myanmar companies and two individuals that Amnesty International first identified in Deadly Cargo: Exposing the supply chain that fuels war crimes in Myanmar as playing an essential role in importing, handling and transporting aviation fuel to the Myanmar military’s air force. 

Since the coup on 1 February 2021, Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations, including war crimes and possible crimes against humanity as part of the military’s crackdown on the opposition across the country.

In November 2022, Amnesty launched a campaign calling for a suspension of the supply of aviation fuel to prevent the Myanmar military from carrying out unlawful air strikes. The investigation also identified companies involved across the supply chain.