Martial law extended across Myanmar with coup’s 2nd anniversary

NAYPYIDAW, 4 Feb 2023:

Myanmar’s military junta has extended martial law to dozens of townships in restive areas across the country, state media reported yesterday.

The military regime, which seized power on 1 Feb 2021, announced in a series of orders the imposition of martial law in 37 townships in eight of the country’s 14 regions and states, published in the military-controlled newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar.

Eleven of the townships are in central Sagaing region and seven are in western Chin state – areas in which fierce fighting has been reported between the army and militias, including civilian guerrilla groups and ethnic armed groups.

The other areas now under martial law are in Magway, Bago and Taninthayi regions, and in Kayah, Kayin and Mon states.

Martial law was already declared in the country’s most populated city of Yangon in early 2021, and supersedes all other laws – giving the military full authority including administrative, judicial and law enforcement functions.

The announcement comes after a six-month extension of the state of emergency, announced on Monday during the second anniversary of the military uprising.

The coup plunged Myanmar into deep political, social and economic crises and has opened a spiral of violence with new militias that have exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare in the country.

Since the coup, at least 2,948 civilians have been killed and 13,793 remain in political detention, according to figures from Myanmar NGO Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.