Myanmar’s Military stages a coup, declares state of emergency
Myanmar’s military staged a coup on Feb 1, detaining de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and declaring it had taken control of the country for one year under a state of emergency.
The intervention came after weeks of rising tensions between the military, which ruled the country for nearly five decades, and the civilian government over allegations of fraud in November’s elections.
Myanmar’s army said it carried out detentions of senior government leaders in response to fraud during last year’s general election.
Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital Naypyidaw before dawn on Monday, NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was meant to resume for the first time since the elections.
Mobile internet data connections and some phone services have been disrupted in major cities, while the state broadcaster MRTV says it is having technical issues and is off air.
Communications with Nay Pyi Taw are down and it is difficult to assess the situation there.
In the country’s largest city and former capital Yangon, phone lines and internet connectivity appear to be limited, with many providers cutting their services.
BBC World News television, as well as other international broadcasters are blocked while local stations are off air.
People have been seen lining up at ATM’s in Yangon amid expectations of a cash crunch in the coming days.
Banks have temporarily halted all financial services, according to the Myanmar Banks Association.
The United States has condemned the coup, saying Washington “opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition”.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release of all government officials and civil society leaders and said the US “stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has “strongly” condemned the military detention of Myanmar’s leaders in a coup, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.