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August 9, 2023

Myanmar Military Extends State of Emergency

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August 9, 2023

On July 31st, after a meeting of the army-led National Defence and Security Council (NDSC) in Naypyitaw, the Myanmar military led by junta leader Min Aung Hlaing declared through state-run media that it was extending the state of emergency in the country for another six months due to continued “unrest”. Although the military had declared a state of emergency for one year when they first seized power on February 1, 2021, they have now extended this four times, each for a period of six months, with the last extension expiring on July 31. During their initial takeover, the regime had stated their plan to hold elections by August 2023, although the elections will now be postponed without a newly specified timeline. Meanwhile, the junta’s Acting President Myint Swe urged members of the NDSC to do more in order to achieve stability in preparation for the elections. A spokesperson for the National Unity Government(NUG) stated that this extension was expected with the junta still trying to annihilate the pro-democracy opposition. Through this extension of military rule, the Myanmar military is once again violating its own constitution, which only allows two extensions of six months each. The military-enacted 2008 constitution also requires an election to be held within six months after a state of emergency has been lifted. Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, stated concern about this extension of the state of emergency, adding that the “regime’s widespread brutality and disregard for the democratic aspirations of the people of Burma continue to prolong the crisis.” He also declared that the U.S. will continue working with its “partners and allies to apply political and economic tools to hold the regime accountable.”

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