Myanmar’s top political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Mynt, were “taken” in an early-morning raid, a spokesperson for the ruling party told Reuters on Sunday.
“I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” Myo Nyunt, of the National League for Democracy, told the news wire. He said he also expects to be detained.
Suu Kyi is a former pro-democracy campaigner who spent nearly 15 years under house arrest when Myanmar was ruled directly by its military. She is constitutionally prohibited from serving as a president but has been the country’s de facto leader since 2015, when Myanmar held its first democratic election in 25 years.
The country’s security forces remain powerful, however — and brutal. In 2017, those forces waged a military campaign against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority, forcing more than 740,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.
In 2020, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar’s leaders to preserve evidence it said could prove allegations of genocide. That ruling came over the objections of Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peacewho has sullied her reputation by both justifying and denying the military’s actions.
Though Suu Kyi’s party won the November 2020 elections, the results have been disputed by the military, Reuters noted, and refused to rule out seizing power itself.
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