Burma: Military Aid

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) funding and (b) technical support has been given by the UK Government to the military of the Government of Myanmar in each of the last three years.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The UK Ministry of Defence has not provided any direct funding or combat training to the Burmese Military.

The UK's defence engagement strategy with Burma has focussed on securing long term change in their military through education, providing access to courses such as Psychology of Leadership, Building Integrity for Senior Leaders and Managing Defence in Wider Security Context.

This programme with Burma has cost a total of £448,375 over the previous three years (September 2015 - September 2018). It was agreed in consultation with the civilian government and complied with the UK's obligations under the EU Arms Embargo.

On 19 September 2017, in light of the ongoing violence in Burma's Rakhine State, the growing humanitarian crisis it has caused, and our deep concern about the human rights abuses that are taking place, the Secretary of State for Defence took the decision to suspend these educational courses provided to the Burmese military.

In support of the UK's Safety of Life at Sea obligation and the UK Hydrographic Office's (UKHO) contribution to developing the capabilities of coastal states to enable safe navigation, the UKHO has trained one member of the Myanmar Navy Hydrographic Centre in nautical cartography in 2015. Through the International Hydrographic Organisation, UKHO has also supported the provision of data processing and navigational chart production training.

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