9 February 2021

Update: Military coup in Myanmar

On Monday 01 February, Burmese former army general Min Aung Hlaing seized power in a military coup. Myanmar in a military coup. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and winner of the November 2020 elections Aung San Suu Kyi and her government were arrested. She is facing trial for alleged violations of the import law, while President Win Myint, who is also in custody, is accused of violations of the disaster control law. Win Myint is accused of violations of the disaster control law. The military cites alleged electoral fraud in the November 2020 general election, which Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party won with a large majority, as the reason for the takeover.
Despite recurrent blocking of all internet networks and telephone connections, more and more protests by the population against the takeover of power are forming. Especially in Yangon, the country's largest city, people are taking to the streets and demonstrating peacefully against the coup. The military is reacting with increasing severity. Some media report the use of water cannons and the first warning shots fired. The military also imposed martial law in parts of the country, demonstrations are prohibited. In addition, a night-time curfew has been declared.  

Internationally, there are calls for sanctions. The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the situation in Myanmar on Friday. New Zealand has now become the first country to break off political relations.

Even though our team at Irrawaddy River Doctors can continue to work as normal and is traveling on its usual route, we are watching the developments with great concern. Our thoughts are with our Burmese friends and partners and we hope for a peaceful solution. In particular, we hope that the population will be given the opportunity to continue on the path to democratization.   

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