The European Union will start preparing sanctions against Myanmar generals over killings of Rohingya Muslims by formally calling on the bloc's foreign policy chief next week to draw up a list of possible names, two diplomats said Thursday.
Any new travel bans and asset freezes would be the EU's toughest measures yet to try to hold the military accountable for the abuses.
"Ministers will call on [Federica] Mogherini to propose restrictive measures on senior members of the Myanmar military for systematic human rights abuses, without delay," one diplomat said Thursday, referring to EU sanctions.
Foreign ministers will also ask Mogherini and the EU's foreign service, the EEAS, Monday to look at ways to strengthen the bloc's 1990s-era arms embargo on the Southeast Asian country that remains in place.
No names of generals to be targeted for sanctions have been yet discussed, the diplomats said, but the United States said in December it was sanctioning Major General Maung Maung Soe, who is accused of a crackdown on the Rohingya minority in Rakhine.
The United Nations has described the military crackdown in Myanmar as "ethnic cleansing". About 655,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine for shelter over the border in Bangladesh, according to the United Nations.