Armed Revolution in Myanmar: Two Years On
On February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military orchestrated a coup. The National League for Democracy’s (NLD) supermajority in the November 8, 2020 elections had scared the military; the unpopular pro-military party was routed. A few days before the coup, multiple countries warned the military against staging one; the military claimed the elections were massively rigged and wanted the opening session of parliament to be delayed. Hours before parliament was to open, the military’s takeover of the country was underway.
On February 1, 2023, the leader of the military junta, Min Aung Hlaing, extended emergency rule for six more months. Out of Myanmar’s 330 townships, Hlaing said that 198 were stable. As per independent reports, the military has lost control of over half the country and has “stable” control in only 72 townships. The military is now allowing loyal civilians to arm themselves in order to counter the resistance. The junta is looking to hold elections, which are highly unlikely to be free or fair. Parties close to the military can contest; the NLD and others are effectively barred.