ACAPS Briefing Note: Myanmar - Impact of 1 February coup (29 April 2021)

Originally published



On 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military staged a coup and ordered a year-long state of emergency under sections 417 and 418(a) of the 2008 constitution, promising that new elections would be held one year after what they labelled ‘fraudulent elections’ in November 2020 (Myanmar Times 02/02/2021; Reuters 16/02/2021 and 01/02/2021). This coup transferred all legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the Commander in Chief of the Defence Services (Reuters 01/02/2021). In response, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) was immediately formed as a parliament, primarily by democratically elected members of the 2020 general election. CRPH recognises itself as the only legitimate government (CRPH 20/02/2021). By mid-April, a National Unity Government was established (CRPH 16/04/2021). This move, coupled with the formation and growth of a civil disobedience movement (CDM) and associated protests, has severely constrained the military junta’s ability to consolidate power and rule of law (01/02/2021).

Countrywide protests are ongoing, with the military junta using systemic and arbitrary violence against anti-coup protesters. The use of live ammunition, raids, strip searches, beatings, and detention has been reported