India on Thursday sanctioned $25 million (approximately Rs 166 crore) for the development of Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the amount will be spent over a period of five years, reported The Indian Express.

Kumar added that the amount is “an indicative figure and depends on the actual requirement and utilisation”. This came a day after Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar met Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Nay Pyi Taw, and signed a memorandum of understanding to restore normalcy in the violence-hit Rakhine state.

India’s aid comes at a time when the Rohingya refugee crisis is plaguing the state. Rohingyas have been denied citizenship in Myanmar and are classified as illegal immigrants. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar, though the country has repeatedly denied this claim. The crisis has threatened to jeopardise Myanmar’s US-aided shift toward democracy after five decades of military rule.

US imposes sanctions on top Myanmar general

The United States on Thursday included top Myanmar Army general Maung Maung Soe to a blacklist for his alleged role in the Rohingya refugee crisis. This is probably the most drastic step taken by Washington against Myanmar till now, according to AP.

For months now, the United Nations has been accusing Myanmar’s troops of committing atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim population in the region after security forces violently cracked down on Rohingyas in the state following a militant attack in August.

“Today, the United States is taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the US financial system,” Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. The sanctions empowers the department to freeze assets of these people under the US jurisdiction. People in the United States are also banned from doing business with these individuals.

The blacklist also names people like Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh; Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbekistan’s late dictator; and Artem Chaika, the son of Russia’s prosecutor general.