Myanmar’s military seizes power in coup, detains government officials

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The democratically elected government in Myanmar has been toppled by the military in a coup on Monday, February 1.

Reuters reported that a Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other government officials have been detained by the military.

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The military said it detained the government officials in response to alleged election fraud in the country’s November 2020 poll.

According to Aljazeera, the army also declared a state of emergency. It said the emergency will remain in force for a year.

A video address broadcast on military-owned television said power had been handed to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

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Myanmar's military seizes power in coup

The action by the military has been condemned by world leaders, who demanded that the democratically elected government be reinstalled. The United States has described the military coup in Myanmar as undermining the country’s democratic transition.

Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for US President Joe Biden said Washington was alarmed by the arrest of civilian leaders in Myanmar.

The official said: “The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed.

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Similarly, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state called for the immediate release of the officials detained by the army.

Blinken said: “We call on Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on Nov 8.

“The United States stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately.”

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