How did European leaders react to Myanmar's military coup?

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By Hebe Campbell
Soldiers sit inside trucks parked on a road in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.
Soldiers sit inside trucks parked on a road in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.   -  Copyright  Aung Shine Oo/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

International condemnation has flooded social media after Myanmar's military announced it had taken control of the country on Monday.

The military said the coup was the result of the government’s failure to act on claims of voter fraud in November’s parliamentary election, as well as postpone the poll because of the pandemic. It said the takeover would last a year.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU's foreign affairs chief, said: "Election results and constitution must be respected. Myanmar's people want democracy. The EU stands with them."

Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar —  the equivalent of a prime minister — and leader of the National League for Democracy, who won a landslide election in October 2020, was among those detained by the military. The coup came on the morning the country’s new parliament was set to be sworn in. 

Spain's prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, criticised the move. 

"We call for the immediate release of all those detained and the restoration of the democratic process," he said. "The constitution and the electoral results must be respected."

The UK's prime minister, Boris Johnson, said democracy must be respected. 

"I condemn the coup and unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar," he tweeted. "The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released."

In a Facebook post, Suu Kyi urged people to oppose Monday's coup and any return to “military dictatorship”.

Internet and telecommunications disruption

Reports of country-wide internet disruptions started to trickle in on Sunday, hours before senior politicians were detained.

Telecommunication blockages followed, starting in the early hours of Monday morning local time, according to network data from NetBlocks Internet Observatory.

Internet connectivity fell to its lowest point at 50% of ordinary levels around 8:00 am local time.

Netblocks reported that internet and cellular services had been partially restored by midday on Monday.

Many users remain offline, resulting in limited coverage of events as they took place.