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STATEMENT: The Kofi Annan Foundation condemns the illegal seizure of power by the military in Myanmar

Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2021. The Kofi Annan Foundation condemns the illegal seizure of power by the military in Myanmar and calls for the immediate release of Aung Sang Suu Kyi and other members of her government who have been detained.

Yesterday’s coup will plunge Myanmar into uncertainty and instability, increasing the potential for violence across the country. It is a violation of promises made by the military to respect the 2008 constitution and a betrayal of the rights of the people of Myanmar and the integrity of elections. As we have seen recently from the United States example, simply claiming electoral fraud doesn’t make it so.

Myanmar faces serious challenges; a stalled peace processes, the unresolved situation of the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, and significant socio-economic challenges, to name a few. However, history and experience tell us that these can only be overcome under accountable, democratic, and civilian leadership.

In Chairing the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, Kofi Annan observed that the people of Myanmar rightly take great pride in the richness of their history and the potential of the future but noted that “in order to move forward together the past must give way to a renewed vision for a dynamic future.”

In violently overthrowing the government, the Tatmadaw has shattered this vision of a new future for Myanmar.