US leads world condemnation of Myanmar’s military coup

Published February 2, 2021, 7:54 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

The United States on Monday led governments around the world in calling for the restoration of Myanmar’s democracy after the military staged a coup, arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians.

Activists hold a portrait of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest outside the United Nations University building in Tokyo on February 1, 2021, after Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and detaining democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi as it imposed a one-year state of emergency.
(Photo by Philip FONG / AFP / MANILA BULELTIN)

United States

US President Joe Biden urged the international community to “come together in one voice to press the Burmese military to immediately relinquish the power they have seized”.

“The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy,” Biden said in a statement, using Myanmar’s former name.

“The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.”

Before the coup, Washington, alongside several other Western nations, had urged the military to “adhere to democratic norms” in a January 29 statement that came as the commander-in-chief threatened to revoke the country’s constitution.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the coup and Suu Kyi’s imprisonment, tweeting: “The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released.”

Britain later summoned Myanmar Ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn to the Foreign Office to lodge a formal protest.


“We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.


China, which regularly opposes UN intervention in Myanmar, called for all sides to “resolve differences”.

“China is a friendly neighbour of Myanmar and hopes the various parties in Myanmar will appropriately resolve their differences under the constitutional and legal framework to protect political and social stability,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing.

Russia –
In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry called for “a peaceful settlement of the situation, in accordance with the law in force, through the resumption of political dialogue”.

United Nations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “strongly” condemned the military’s detention of Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders.

“These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

The UN Security Council will convene in emergency session Tuesday to discuss the situation in Myanmar.

European Union

European Council President Charles Michel strongly condemned the coup, saying the outcome of November elections won by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy “has to be respected”.


“We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.


“We hope that the democratic process and constitutional arrangements will be upheld in Myanmar,” the foreign ministry in Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya live in refugee camps, said in a statement.

“As an immediate and friendly neighbour, we would like to see peace and stability in Myanmar.”


Japan urged Myanmar’s military to free Suu Kyi and to restore democracy.

“We request the release of stakeholders including state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi,” Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement, urging “the national army to quickly restore the democratic political system in Myanmar”.

ASEAN countries

Both Singapore and Indonesia called for restraint from all sides, but Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the situation was an “internal matter”.

“Our primary concern is the safety of our people,” he said. “Our armed forces are on standby in case we need to airlift them as well as navy ships to repatriate them if necessary.”


The Turkish government, itself the target of a military coup in 2016, condemned the takeover and called for the politicians’ release.

“Turkey opposes all kinds of coups and we expect the immediate release of elected leaders, political figures, and civilians who have been detained,” the Turkish foreign ministry said.