US Orders Non-Essential Staff to Leave Myanmar

The U.S. Department of State has ordered all non-emergency government personnel and their families to leave Myanmar as the security situation continues to escalate after the military’s coup last February. 

The State Department spokesperson said the decision was made out of concern for the safety of all government officials and the safety of their dependents. 

Violence between protestors and security forces have continued through the weekend, resulting in at least 521 people killed since Feb. 1 when the military coup overthrew the country’s government, according to the Assistance Associate for Political Prisoners. Ongoing air strikes against one of the country’s largest rebel groups, the Karen National Union, have also escalated fears of a civil war as other armed groups vowed this week to join the protest against the military.

In Yangon, the U.S. embassy reported shorts had been fired Saturday at the cultural American Center. The embassy will remain open to the public and continue to provide a limited amount of consular services to U.S citizens and visa applications, the U.s Department of State spokesperson said. 

The departure status will be reviewed in 30-day increments. 

The U.S. has condemned the Myanmar military’s violence against protestors, blacklisting the two largest businesses it controls. All engagement with Myanmar under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework has also been suspended. The suspension will remain in effect until a democratically elected government returns to Myanmar.

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