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Myanmar: Puma Energy to leave amid scrutiny of aviation fuel supplies

Responding to Puma Energy’s decision to withdraw from Myanmar nearly two years after a military coup in early 2021, Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Researcher Montse Ferrer said:

“Amnesty International acknowledges Puma Energy’s decision to leave the country, which comes after a long campaign by civil society groups including Burma Campaign UK and Justice For Myanmar, who among others have placed vital scrutiny on aviation fuel supplies that may end up in the hands of Myanmar’s military.

“The announcement also comes one month after researchers from Amnesty International met with Puma company representatives to present findings from a forthcoming report on the supply of aviation fuel to the Myanmar military, with research supported by Justice For Myanmar.

“Puma Energy must ensure a safe and responsible disengagement now that it is leaving the country, including by providing a transparent and clear roadmap of its plans and preventing the military from accessing its aviation fuel infrastructure. Any valuable assets Puma Energy leaves behind should not fall into the hands of the military or its crony businesses. 

“Puma Energy must also explore ways to remedy any harm it may have contributed to while operating in Myanmar.”

Background

Puma Energy said in a statement on 5 October that it was exiting the country and selling its stake in Puma Energy Asia Sun (PEAS) and minority share in National Energy Puma Aviation Services (NEPAS) to a “locally owned private company”.

Through PEAS and NEPAS, Puma Energy has been the main supplier of aviation fuel to the country since it commenced operations in 2015.

Several civil society organizations as well as Myanmar’s National Unity Government have called for aviation fuel supplies to the military to be restricted or outright banned.

Shortly after the 1 February 2021 coup, Puma Energy said it was suspending its operations in Myanmar. It subsequently resumed operations but, according to the company, only for civilian purposes.