Myanmar's military stages coup, detains Aung San Suu Kyi

2021-02-01 17:52:37
Myanmar's military stages coup, detains Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar's military seized power in a bloodless coup on Monday, detaining democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and imposing a one-year state of emergency.

The intervention ended a decade of civilian rule in Myanmar, with the military justifying its power grab by alleging fraud in the November elections that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won in a landslide.

The coup sparked global condemnation, with the United States leading calls for democracy to be immediately restored.

Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital Naypyidaw before dawn, party spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was meant to reconvene for the first time since the elections.

The military sealed off roads around the capital with armed troops, trucks and armoured personnel carriers. Military helicopters flew across the city.

A putsch had been expected for days, yet when it came it left Myanmar stunned -- with roads to its main international airport blocked and communications cut -- a country once more isolated from a world it only rejoined a decade ago.

Suu Kyi, who won a Nobel Peace Prize 30 years ago for her resistance against the military and was held under house arrest for 15 years, faces international scrutiny for her support for a military crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim people in the western state of Rakhine.

She defended the military atrocities against the Rohingya people at the UN’s top court in the Hague in December 2019.


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