Military coup: Army takes control of Burma


Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is under house arrest after a military coup. The military declared a state of emergency on television.

Aung San Suu Kyi receives a Covid-19 vaccination in a hospital. (January 27, 2021)


The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de facto Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi has been arrested in Burma according to media reports. According to reports on Monday morning (local time), Suu Kyi was under house arrest following a military coup. A little later, the army declared a year-long state of emergency on military television. It has now taken control of the land.

Among the arrested were other leading politicians from the ruling National League for Democracy. Communication links to the capital, Naypyidaw, seemed cut off. Representatives of the US National Security Council initially stated that they were familiar with the reports, but could not provide their own confirmation.

On Monday, the MPs in Burma were supposed to meet for the first parliamentary session since the election in November. The mood in the run-up was tense after statements from the military, which had been understood as a coup threat.

Suu Kyi’s party had won an overwhelming majority in the elections. The army does not recognize this and speaks of fraud. The military-drafted constitution stipulates that a quarter of the seats will be given to members of the army – enough to block constitutional changes. Various ministerial posts are also reserved for military personnel.

Most recently, the armed forces had rejected reports that the military had threatened a coup: statements by military chief Min Aung Hlaing had been misinterpreted by the media. A spokesman for the military said on Tuesday that he could not rule out a coup if complaints from the military about alleged fraud in the election last November were ignored.

The military chief stepped up the next day, saying that the Burma constitution could also be annulled if the laws were not properly implemented. An additional concern about a coup was the fact that there were unusually armored vehicles in several cities in the country.

75-year-old Suu Kyi is by far the most dominant political actor in the country. She became the leader after decades of non-violent struggle against military rule.


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