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Boris Johnson Condemns Myanmar Coup After Aung San Suu Kyi Is Detained By Military

Myanmar's de-facto leader has been arrested as part of the coup attempt

3 min read

The Prime Minister has called for the release of civilian leaders in Myanmar after the country's military arrested several leading politicians in a coup attempt.

Myanmar's military leaders said they were declaring a year long state of emergency in response to "fraud" in last November's elections, which were won in a landslide by de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ms Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, had won 396 out of 476 seats in last year's election, with the new parliament set to being today.

The coup attempt has provoked a major backlash among the international community, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for the release of civilian leaders.

"I condemn the coup and unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar," he tweeted on Monday morning. "The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "The UK condemns the state of emergency imposed in Myanmar & the unlawful detention of figures in the Civilian Government and civil society by the military.

"The democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar must be respected, and the National Assembly peacefully re-convened."

A White House spokesperson Jen Psaki, 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."

Aung San Suu Kyi, along with several other senior members of her party, were arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, with a military-owned TV station saying the move was in response to "huge discrepancies" in the election results.

The military broadcast confirmed that power in the country had been handed over to military chief Min Aung Hlaing, and that a one-year state of emergency was being declared.

"Although the sovereignty of the nation must derive from the people, there was terrible fraud in the voter list during the democratic general election which runs contrary to ensuring a stable democracy," it added.

Suu Kyi, who had helped bring in reforms which ended a previous military dictatorship in 2011, urged her followers to "protest against the coup" and to "not accept this".

In response, soldiers were placed on the streets of capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and other major cities.

Communications, including phone and internet services have also been severly impacted, with outside observers raising fears that protests against the military action could lead to violence.


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