Conflicts & War

Myanmar junta extends state of emergency for 6 more months

Bangkok, Jul 31 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta announced it was extending the state of emergency in force in the country for six more months until January 31, officials said Monday.

This is the fourth extension to a state of emergency since the military overthrew the democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in Feb. 2021 and arrested the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, plunging the country into a deep political, economic and social crisis.

The state of emergency also prevents a general election from being held in Myanmar despite the junta previously pledging to hold one this summer.

Myanmar’s constitution stipulates that elections can only take place six months after the end of a state of emergency.

According to a 33-page document published Monday after a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council to which EFE had access, the junta justified the extension to the state of emergency saying the country was still subject to “violent forces” that were trying to “seize state power.”

In the document, Myanmar’s military leaders alleged that time was still needed to prepare for the elections.

The military also accused the pro-democracy People’s Defense Forces (PDF) of “acts of terror.”

The PDF is the armed wing of the National Unity Government (NUG), a government in exile made up of elected leaders that were poised to take office until the military coup.

The Southeast Asian country has been mired in a spiral of violence and semi-anarchy since the junta overthrew the civilian government on Feb. 1, 2021.

Myanmar’s military cited widespread irregularities during general elections held in November 2020 which saw Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party win by a landslide.

The coup was widely condemned by the international community and the PDF.

In a signal seen by many as an attempt by the military to test the waters ahead of an election, sources close to Suu Kyi told EFE last week that the army had taken the former leader out of jail and rehoused her in a government building.

It is not known whether Suu Kyi, who has been detained since the coup and is facing sentences of up to 33 years in prison, will be placed under house arrest, as reported by the BBC. EFE


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