Myanmar’s military seized power on February 1, ousting the civilian government and arresting its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The next 100 days were marked by mass street protests, bloody junta crackdowns, economic turmoil and growing international concern.
A summary of the events:
– Back to the old days –
The generals stage a coup on February 1, arresting Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi and her best allies in pre-dawn raids.
It ends Myanmar’s decade-long democratic experiment after nearly half a century of military rule.
The generals are claiming fraud in the November election, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won by landslide.
The coup drew global condemnation, from Pope Francis to US President Joe Biden.
– Talkies-walkies –
Two days later, Suu Kyi, 75, is charged with an obscure offense for unregistered walkie-talkies in her home.
– Internet blocked –
Resistance to the coup begins with people banging pots and pans – a practice traditionally associated with driving out evil spirits.
The junta is trying to block social media platforms, including Facebook, which is extremely popular in Myanmar. Nightly Internet outages are then imposed.
– A daring challenge –
Popular dissent erupted over the weekend of February 6 and 7, with tens of thousands of people rallying in the streets to demand the release of Suu Kyi.
Workers begin a nationwide strike on February 8.
– Police shoot at demonstrators –
A young woman, Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, is shot in the head and another is injured after police fired on crowds in Naypyidaw on February 9.
– International sanctions –
The next day, Washington announced sanctions against several military officials, including General Min Aung Hlaing, the army chief now in charge.
Other rounds of sanctions will follow in the following weeks from the United States, Great Britain and the European Union.
– New charge Suu Kyi –
On February 16, Suu Kyi’s attorney said she had received a second charge, this time under the Natural Disaster Management Act.
– The first protester dies –
Mya Thwate Thwate Khaing, the woman shot 10 days earlier, died on February 19, becoming a symbol of opposition to the junta.
– No more charges –
Suu Kyi faces two new criminal charges on March 1. Her lawyer says she is now charged with inciting unrest and violating telecommunications laws.
Ten days later, the military accuses him of accepting illegal payments in cash and gold.
– Alleged atrocities –
On March 11, rights group Amnesty International said it had documented atrocities committed by the junta, including the use of weapons on the battlefield against unarmed protesters.
A day later, a UN rights expert on Myanmar accuses the military of crimes against humanity.
– The junta defends the coup d’état –
The junta defends the seizure of power on March 25 and says it will not tolerate “anarchy” caused by the demonstrators.
– Bloodiest day –
Armed Forces Day on March 27, the army’s annual show of force, turns into a bloodbath with more than 100 civilians killed in the protest crackdowns – the deadliest day since the coup.
– Warning of “civil war” –
Violence is escalating in the border areas between the army and Myanmar’s many ethnic rebel armies – several of which have declared their support for the protest movement.
On March 31, a UN envoy calls for action by the Security Council to prevent the country from descending into civil war.
– Load of secrets –
On April 2, Suu Kyi’s lawyer announces the most serious charge against her – of breaking the Law on Official Secrets.
– Shadow government –
Evicted civilian legislators, forced into hiding, announce the formation of a shadow “government of national unity”.
– ASEAN Summit –
ASEAN regional bloc leaders hold Myanmar crisis summit in Jakarta and invite junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.
They agree on a five-point declaration calling for dialogue, an end to violence and the appointment of an envoy.
But state media reported a few days later that the bloc’s “suggestions” will only be taken into consideration “when the situation returns to stability” in Myanmar.
fraises-pdw / dhc / mtp / gle
© 2021 AFP