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European leaders condemn Myanmar (Burma) coup by the military; UN security council took no immediate action.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Image Credit: Getty Images

On Monday, Myanmar’s military staged a coup and ousted the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and several other politicians of her party, which are believed to be under house arrest.

The military immediately announced a year-long state of emergency after seizing the country. Myanmar military forces carried out the coup days after a general election in which leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, National League for Democracy (NLD), won by a landslide. The opposition did not accept the result and demanded a rerun of the vote, as they claimed widespread fraud. The Myanmar military forces supported the opposition claims, and after NLD refusal to do a rerun, a coup was staged when the parliamentary session was about to open.

Myanmar’s leader power was immediately transferred to the military’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, well known for his role in military attacks on ethnic minorities. He was sanctioned by a number of countries after the 2017 military crackdown where the military drove 730,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh. Investigations carried out by the UN found that the huge military operation involved widespread arson, gang rapes and mass killings. For this reason, United States sanctioned him, along with three other military leaders in 2019.

The European leaders condemned the military coup, and urged the country to return to democracy as soon as possible, while the United Nations (UN) Security Council conducted an emergency meeting last Tuesday, but no action was taken on Myanmar so far. UN diplomats said that a draft statement was to be released after the meeting, focused on restoring democracy in the Southeast Asian country. It demanded the release of all those detained, but unfortunately, the statement was not issued, as it needs to be supported by all (15) council members. Russia and China requested a review of the statement in their countries before agreeing to it.

United States also released a statement,

The United States is alarmed by reports that the Burmese military has taken steps to undermine the country’s democratic transition.

White House.

US also urged Myanmar,

The military and all other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and to release those detained today. The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed.

White House.

Australia, India and Singapore also expressed their concern about the situation in Myanmar, and urge for the return of democracy. Reports of internet and phone service outages have been reported. MRTV a state-owned broadcasting TV station was off air.

A night curfew has been imposed in the country, and the leader Ms. Suu Kyi urged her supporters to protest peacefully against the coup. Alot of people listened to her call, and honked their car horns and banged pans and pots in protest. It has also been reported that several people changed their social media profile to one that has just the red colour.

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