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Myanmar’s military detained its leader in a coup. Here’s what you need to know

Myanmar’s military seized power from its leader through a coup. Here’s a brief explainer

Soldiers sit inside trucks parked on a road in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Myanmar military television said Monday that the military was taking control of the country for one year, while reports said many of the country’s senior politicians including Aung San Suu Kyi had been detained.
Soldiers sit inside trucks parked on a road in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Myanmar military television said Monday the military was taking control of the country for one year, while reports said many of the country’s senior politicians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, had been detained.
Associated Press

Myanmar’s military seized power from its leaders in a coup Monday, detaining the country’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other government leaders, CNN reports.

  • Suu Kyi and other leaders are being detained in Naypyidaw, the capital city of the country, according to CNN.

What happened?

Myanmar’s army announced in a video address Monday that power would be handed to the commander-in-chief of the military, according to Reuters.

  • The army imposed a state of emergency for one year, ABC News reports.
  • The announcement came after allegations of voter fraud within the country.

Who’s in power now?

  • Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s armed forces, will now take power, according to ABC News. Meanwhile, Vice President Myint Swe, a retired general, will become the acting president.

Why now?

For months, the civilian government and the military— named the Tatmadaw — have been increasingly at odds over alleged election irregularities.

As for why now, here’s how BBC News explains it: “The timing of this coup is also easily explained. This week the first session of parliament since the election was due to start, which would have enshrined the election result by approving the next government. That will no longer happen.”

What’s next?

The National League for Democracy party issued a statement calling for the citizens to protest the coup, per ABC News.

  • “The actions of the military are actions to put the country back under a dictatorship,” the statement read, according to ABC News. “I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military.”

How does the U.S. feel about it?

The Biden administration told Myanmar’s military officials Sunday that it will “take action” if it continues with its coup, according to Politico.

  • “The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday, according to Politico.
  • She said the U.S. “will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed.”