Golpe de Estado

Demonstrators march in Yangon, Myanmar, on July 3. (Stringer/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The United Nations recently condemned coups in Mali in West Africa and Myanmar in Southeast Asia — and called for regional organizations ECOWAS and ASEAN to manage the crises. In May, Mali, a member of the Economic Community of West Africa, experienced its second coup in 18 months. And the civilian government of Myanmar, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was overthrown in February.

With mounting pressures from the United Nations and the risk of retreat from others in the international community, many countries expect these regional organizations to do more to prevent unconstitutional changes in government. However, our research shows how established organizational cultures and principles temper the ASEAN and ECOWAS responses to the coups — and how that might unintentionally benefit coup leaders.…  Seguir leyendo »

In this file photo taken on 18 September 2020 Colonel Assimi Goita (C), president of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People), arrives at the funeral of former Mali President General Moussa Traore in Bamako. MICHELE CATTANI / AFP

Que sait-on de ce coup d’Etat au Mali, le second en neuf mois ?

Le lundi 24 mai, le président de la transition Bah N’Daw, son Premier ministre Moctar Ouane et quelques autres responsables maliens ont été arrêtés et conduits au camp militaire de Kati, près de Bamako. Cette arrestation a été décidée peu après la nomination d’un nouveau gouvernement, dont la composition a été âprement négociée pendant plus d’une semaine mais dans lequel ne figuraient plus les colonels Sadio Camara et Modibo Koné, respectivement ministres de la Défense et de la Sécurité. Ces deux officiers de la garde nationale sont aussi membres dirigeants de l’ex-Comité National de Salut du Peuple (CNSP), le groupe à l’origine du coup d’État du 18 août 2020 et officiellement dissous en janvier 2021.…  Seguir leyendo »

Retired Col. Maj. Bah N’Daw, right, is sworn into the office of transitional president and Col. Assimi Goïta, left, is sworn into the office of transition vice president on Sept. 25, 2020, in Bamako, Mali. (AP)

Mali appears to have had yet another coup d’etat. Since 1960, when Mali gained independence from France, there have been five coups — and only one peaceful transition from one democratically elected president to another. This includes two coups in the past nine months, including this one. The 2012 coup was a surprise because for 20 years, Mali had been viewed as a democratic model for emerging democracies and presidential elections were just weeks away. Since then, coups seem to have become commonplace.

Why? Because since at least 2012, the country has been roiled by ongoing political crisis. Military officers and political leaders are elbowing each other for political control and access to the spoils of power.…  Seguir leyendo »

A memorial to to protestors killed during protests in Myanmar are displayed outside the Myanmar Embassy in London on April 8. (Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

I work in the foreign service of my homeland, Myanmar, in our embassy here in Washington, D.C. I decided to become a diplomat to represent my country and its interests overseas. I have always been proud of my job.

Yet now I find myself in the strange position of opposing our own government — or to be more precise, the people who claim to be our government now. On Feb. 1, the military seized power, deposing the elected civilian government and arresting its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The overwhelming majority of the population have rejected this illegal coup, taking to the streets in huge, overwhelmingly nonviolent, demonstrations.…  Seguir leyendo »

Anti-coup protesters outside an ASEAN regional meeting on April 20 in Yangon, Myanmar. (AP) (AP)

On Saturday, leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Jakarta for an emergency summit to discuss the crisis unfolding in the streets of my home country, Myanmar. The group has invited Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the military commander in chief, to the table. He is directly responsible not only for the Feb. 1 coup that has led to the slaughter of more than 700 protesters, but also for the genocide of my community, the Rohingya, as well as horrific abuses against many other ethnic minority groups.

Over the past three months, the Myanmar junta has failed to consolidate its power, and its violence is threatening regional stability.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters prayed in Yangon, Myanmar, in March for demonstrators who died during demonstrations against the military coup. Credit Theint Mon Soe/SOPA Images and LightRocket, via Getty Images

The people of Myanmar have been fighting for the life of our nation since the military, or Tatmadaw, seized power on Feb. 1. We have been protesting peacefully, risking our lives to protect neighborhoods, cities and towns — fighting not for any one political party, ethnic group or leader, but for freedom and a genuine federal democracy.

This is why those of us who were duly elected to office by the people of Myanmar, and who continue to act for their interests, are now asking for direct help.

Military and security personnel have killed more than 700 people, including dozens of children, and arrested, charged or sentenced more than 3,050.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las repercusiones mundiales del golpe en Birmania

Birmania está guiando al sudeste asiático en una carrera hacia el abismo político. Desde que derrocaron al gobierno civil el 1 de febrero, los militares dieron muerte a más de 530 civiles desarmados y arrestaron a otros miles. Ahora el país enfrenta una crisis humanitaria cada vez más profunda y la creciente posibilidad de una guerra civil: hechos que podrían tener graves consecuencias regionales y hasta mundiales.

Tal vez el gobierno civil birmano —dirigido por la Liga Nacional para la Democracia (LND), de Aung San Suu Kyi— no fuera perfecto, pero contaba con el apoyo de la gente. En las elecciones de noviembre pasado la LND logró una sólida mayoría contra la oposición respaldada por los militares.…  Seguir leyendo »

An image of Myanmar’s detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi is projected on to a screen during a night-time demonstration in Yangon in March. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In August 2011, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s then foreign minister, made a “mercy dash” to Damascus. He appealed in person to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to stop killing his people and talk to his opponents after five months of anti-regime protests.

Davutoglu spoke for Turkey but also, indirectly, for the US and the west. He had conferred with Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, before making the trip. His message: it’s not too late to call a halt; the alternative is civil war. But Assad turned him down flat.

At that early point in the crisis, about 2,000 people had died. Fearing worse to come, Davutoglu kept trying.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on March 12. (EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The images from the streets of Myanmar cities tell a brutal story. Ordinary citizens are taking to the streets to protest the military coup of Feb. 1, and the armed forces, again and again, are opening fire. By now more than 300 people — virtually all of them unarmed — have been killed around the country.

This rampant brutality has led to widespread revulsion among the populace, in ways that are likely to reverberate for years to come. There are, of course, many elements in Myanmar society — especially among members of the ethnic minorities such as the Rohingya, Shan, Karen, Kachin along the country’s periphery — who have never harbored illusions about the nature of the armed forces.…  Seguir leyendo »

El general Jorge Rafael Videla (c) jura como presidente de Argentina en la Casa de Gobierno de Buenos Aires, acompañado por el almirante Emilio Massera (i) y el brigada Orlando Agosti (d), miembros de la Junta Militar que derrocó a Isabel Perón con un golpe de Estado, 29 de marzo de 1976.

Las Fuerzas Armadas prepararon el golpe de Estado del 24 de marzo de 1976 en la Argentina con seis meses de anticipación. Mientras juraban su “fidelidad al orden constitucional” en el discurso público y expresaban su “prescindencia política”, comenzaron a modificar el reglamento militar para legitimar internamente el sistema de aniquilamiento.

Según los nuevos procedimientos que aplicarían, cuando los “grupos de tareas” entraran en operaciones, no debían aceptar rendiciones, a menos que lo estableciera una orden castrense expresa. Para alojar a los detenidos se crearían los LRD (“lugar de reunión de detenidos”), donde se los interrogaría sin posibilidad de acceso a la defensa legal o a la justicia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Buddhist monks lead a protest march supporting the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, a Myanmar government-in-exile representing lawmakers ousted in February's military coup, in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Wednesday. (Str/AP)

If the generals in Myanmar thought seizing power would be easy, they were mistaken. The country’s citizens are showing astonishing determination as they push back against a military coup that trampled what was a young, fragile, imperfect democracy.

Day after day, protesters are taking to the streets, demanding that the generals restore their democratically elected representatives to power. They have continued their nonviolent protests even as the security forces open fire on the crowds. So far almost 150 demonstrators have been killed.

Notably, the protests have included paralyzing strikes and work stoppages and slowdowns that are still going on despite the military’s use of violence.…  Seguir leyendo »

An anti-coup protester raises his arm in front of a crowd during a candlelight rally in Yangon, Myanmar, on Sunday. (AP)

The Myanmar military and security forces are deploying a new weapon against protesters: the video-sharing app TikTok. Described as “digital crack cocaine” by at least one commentator, the app has more than 1.1 billion active monthly users worldwide. Its viewers stand out for their enthusiasm. When Jennifer Lopez posted the same video to TikTok and Twitter, her 5 million TikTok followers viewed it 71 million times. Her 45 million Twitter followers only watched it 2 million times.

Members of the Myanmar security forces are using TikTok to intimidate demonstrators who are taking to the streets to voice their opposition to the Feb.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Country I Fled Needs Biden’s Help Now

Myanmar’s nominal transition to democracy ended abruptly on Feb. 1 when the military arrested the civilian government and seized power. This coup was the most egregious among the three in the country’s modern history. The military claimed it was acting in response to election irregularities, but the charges it later imposed on elected leaders — the country’s civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was accused of illegally importing walkie-talkies, for example — were preposterous. Of course, the Burmese military leaders’ actual goal is to nullify the results of the November 2020 democratic elections.

The United States, which on Jan. 6 experienced an insurrection designed to nullify the results of its own free and fair election, promptly condemned the Burmese military’s actions.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday. Photograph: Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Four weeks after he deposed Myanmar’s democratically elected government, General Min Aung Hlaing must be getting that sinking feeling. His carefully orchestrated retirement plan (he was due to retire in July this year, before leading the coup on 1 February) has faced sustained protests from the street and international condemnation, even from vocal members of the normally staid Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean). The general has also over-played the army’s tried-and-tested strategy of deploying brutal firepower. The protesters are not backing down, and the time has come for the international community to call the general’s bluff and insist on the restoration of the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) rightful claim to power.…  Seguir leyendo »

With live fire being deployed on a widespread basis in Myanmar since a military coup on February 1, the generals who seized power have lived up to fears that they would resort to lethal force against their own citizens. Early restraint in the face of peaceful protesters has been replaced with bullets, and security forces have killed more than 50 people to date.

Several victims were killed by shots to the head -- a sign that the troops were shooting to kill as part of their intensifying crackdown that also has included curfews and nightly internet shutdowns, armored vehicles and armed troops on the streets and draconian laws limiting freedom of speech and assembly.…  Seguir leyendo »

Myanmar migrants in Thailand protest against the military coup in their home country in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok. Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images.

Myanmar's military leadership has reverted to type and started killing large numbers of people. The generals have spent decades preparing for this moment and they are ready.

Hidden in their military cantonments and protected by soldiers, police and plainclothes thugs, they are suffering only the mildest inconvenience while the cities ring to the sound of protest. Why should they worry about angry crowds with witty placards when their side has live ammunition?

In the city streets, the people demand democracy, but the military, known as the Tatmadaw, is not about to back down because of some disruptions in Yangon and Mandalay.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police stand guard outside the Chinese Embassy during a demonstration by protesters against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on Feb. 22. (Sai Aung Main/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters in Myanmar have gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Yangon and accused China of being an “accomplice” to last month’s coup. However, it isn’t clear that the Chinese government was directly or indirectly involved. After all, China had built a healthy working relationship with the government that was overthrown.

Beijing is in a difficult position. Its refusal to explicitly condemn the military coup has made China the target of public anger in Myanmar, but exerting more pressure might look as though China is abandoning its traditional policy of non-interference in other countries’ governments, and throwing its weight around. Furthermore, if Beijing angers the military junta, it might endanger China’s existing economic and strategic interests in the country.…  Seguir leyendo »

Riot police face off against a crowd of demonstrators in front of Yangon’s City Hall. The crowd is chanting “the people’s police” and has given them roses, water and snacks to signify that their protest is against the military junta. 7 February 2021. CRISISGROUP/Richard Horsey

What was it like to be in the streets during the protests?

It's hard to describe the incredible energy. The people who join cut across all classes of society and generations, but the preponderance are really quite young, energetic people who feel their futures have been stolen. Young people in Myanmar have grown up under the past ten years of relative liberalisation, 4G connection to the world and consistent economic growth. This period has been one of the first times in the last 50 years when a generation has felt that tomorrow will be better than today. They feel that the coup has robbed them of that hope.…  Seguir leyendo »

A copy of the Haitian Constitution wrapped in an American flag at a march in Port-au-Prince on Feb. 10. The Haitian president’s supporters and opponents disagree on when his term ends. Credit Valerie Baeriswyl/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Catherine Buteau, a 33-year-old marketing and communications specialist in Montreal, woke up on Feb. 7 to a lot of missed calls on her phone. Her relatives in Haiti had been desperately calling her. Her father, mother and aunt had been snatched from their beds in Port-au-Prince in the middle of the night.

“No one knew what was happening, just that they were taken,” she told me. “In the beginning, not understanding what’s happening, I thought the worst.”

Later that day, Ms. Buteau learned that her parents and her aunt were among the 18 people who had been arrested and accused of attempting a coup against Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters in Yangon, Myanmar, on Sunday. All are demonstrating against the military coup, but also with different hopes. Credit The New York Times

Since the military seized power on Feb. 1, I have felt overwhelmed watching both the empowerment of a new generation of young protesters and a continuing failure of political leadership. I am torn between nostalgia and the urgent need for a concrete strategy.

Thirty-three years have passed since the 8-8-88 Movement, a nationwide uprising in 1988 that called for the end of military dictatorship and the restoration of democratic governance; I was 14 years old, a student, and I discovered political activism then. Today, I find myself in the streets again, marching alongside a new generation that is waging the same battle.…  Seguir leyendo »