THE avalanche of global outrage, threat of sanctions and condemnations that have trailed the Myanmar military coup are clear signals to military adventurists all over the world who seek to subvert democracy that the era of rule by force of arms is over.
The military had seized power in that country located in the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia on February 1, 2021 after Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party won a landslide 83 percent in the November 8, 2020 election.
The army called its takeover a response to election fraud and detained President Win Myint, State Counselor and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and other members of the ruling National League for Democracy.
Vice President Myint Swe, a former general, who was propped up as acting president, immediately invoked articles 417 and 418 of the constitution which allowed him to declare a one-year state of emergency and hand control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.
The next day, February 2, the State Administrative Council was formed, with Senior Gen. Min as chairman, to govern the country during the state of emergency.
But world leaders are unhappy with the turn of events in Myanmar, formerly called Burma. For instance, the U.S. President, Joe Biden, on Monday threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar following the military coup. Biden described the coup as “a direct assault on the country’s transition”, calling for a concerted international response to press the military to relinquish power.
Over the past decade, US had lifted sanctions on Myanmar based on progress it made toward democracy. “The reversal of that progress,” Biden said, will necessitate an immediate review of US sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.
The outrage over Myanmar coup was not only targeted at the country’s military leaders but also at other countries or leaders that may be sympathetic to the rape on democracy. President Biden says the US was “taking note of those who stand with the people of Burma in this difficult hour.
“We will work with our partners throughout the region and the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold accountable those responsible for overturning Burma’s democratic transition.”
The big lesson in the Myanmar coup for Nigeria and other African countries where the military rides rough shod on the populace is that the world is now a global village. As such no country’s leader or government is at absolute liberty to conduct itself as it pleases.
As we watch for the outcome of the international community’s action against enemies of democracy in Myanmar, we can be certain that other countries, including Nigeria, are also under the watch of the international community with regards to military-civilian relations and internal democracy.