Myanmar Military Stages Coup

From comes this short rundown of the events in the southeast Asian country of Myanmar (Burma)…

Soldiers manned the streets of the capital city of Naypyitaw on Monday as the military’s television station announced Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing had taken charge of the country. Vice President Myint Swe, a former general who led a brutal 2007 crackdown on Buddhist monks, will serve as acting president. The military detained Aung San Suu Kyi, de facto leader of the government, and other senior government leaders. Myanmar, also known as Burma, was under military rule until democratic reforms began in 2011.

What spurred the coup? The military said it declared the one-year state of emergency over “election fraud” during a November election that resulted in a landslide victory for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party. The Monday takeover came on the same morning the new Parliament was to begin its first session. The military insists the coup is legal, citing a clause in the 2008 constitution drafted under military rule that allows it to take control in the event of a national emergency. A statement posted on an NLD Facebook page called the military’s actions unconstitutional and urged people to protest.

Dig deeper: From WORLD archives, read my 2017 report on Myanmar’s crackdown on Rohingya minorities and an explanation of the country’s political situation. —Onize Ohikere

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