Everyday rallies in Myanmar by unarmed demonstrators demanding the restoration of an elected government and the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi are met with tear gas, rubber bullets and combat ammunition by the military.
“Burmese army has arrested and removed elected government officials. Protests and demonstrations against military rule have begun and are expected to continue, “the State Department said in a statement using Myanmar’s previous name.
In mid-February, the State Department allowed “voluntary departure of non-essential U.S. government employees and their families,” the report said, adding that the department “renewed this status by ordering to leave.”
The number of civilian casualties due to military repression has already exceeded 520, and states around the world have condemned the military campaign since the February 1 coup.
“The State Department has decided to order the departure of Burma because the safety of U.S. government personnel and their dependents, as well as private U.S. citizens, is a top priority for the department,” a State Department spokesman said.
The status of the removal order will be reviewed after 30 days, the spokesman added.
The US, UK and European Union have imposed sanctions on Myanmar in response to the coup and repression, but so far diplomatic pressure has not persuaded generals to change course.