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France Rejects Allegations Of Lax Burma Sanctions Enforcement

  • VOA News

The French government is rejecting allegations it is weakening effective enforcement of nine-year-old European Union sanctions against Burma's military regime.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday that France is enforcing the sanctions "strictly."

In a report issued Monday, a coalition of rights groups said Paris is still allowing French investment in major Burmese economic sectors such as oil, gas and timber.

They blamed the French position on what they called its protection of French energy giant Total -- which is involved in a natural gas pipeline project in eastern Burma.

The groups said Burmese troops operating in the area of the Yadana gas pipeline committed human rights violations against local residents to protect the pipeline from attacks by Karen and Mon rebels.

Total says it has closely watched Burmese army actions and done everything in its power to stop rights abuses.

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