Myanmar coup: Six months after seizing power from the elected government Myanmar’s military leader Min Aung Hlaing declared himself Prime Minister of Myanmar on August 1, 2021.
- The leader announced that he would occupy the position for two more years during an extended state of emergency in the country.
- He promised multi-party elections as well as the lifting of the state of emergency by August 2023.
- The announcement comes six months after Myanmar’s democratically elected government was overthrown in a military coup, sparking waves of protests throughout the country.
- Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces from 1962 until 2011 when a new government began ushering in a return to civilian rule.
- Aung San Suu Kyi spent nearly 15 years in detention between 1989 and 2010.
- She was internationally hailed as a beacon of democracy and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
- However, her international reputation suffered severely following an army crackdown on the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.
- Former supporters accused her of refusing to condemn the military or acknowledge accounts of atrocities.
- Myanmar’s military overthrew its democratically elected National League for Democracy government in February, claiming that the election held in November 2020 was fraudulent.
- The state of emergency was declared when troops moved against the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, 2021; an action the generals said was permitted under the military-authored 2008 constitution.
- The military claimed her landslide victory in last year’s national elections was achieved through massive voter fraud but offered no credible evidence.
- She was arrested and has since been charged with multiple crimes, including illegally possessing walkie-talkie radios and violating Covid-19 rules.
- Her trial resumed on Aug. 2, as per media reports.
As protests continue to intensify in the country against the military coup, 940 people have been confirmed to be killed since the military takeover on February 1, 2021.
- Myanmar (formerly Burma) officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia with more than 100 ethnic groups.
- It is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos, and Thailand to its east and southeast, and the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest.
- Its capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).
- The currency used here is the Myanmar kyat.