Myanmar Junta Launches New Coastguard

By The Irrawaddy 7 October 2021

Myanmar’s regime has formed a coastguard, a policy from the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) government, with four armed naval vessels to protect the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea shoreline.

Amid a heavy security forces presence on Wednesday, the junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing inaugurated the ships on Wednesday at Thilawa in southern Yangon.

In his speech, the junta chief said the coastguard would primarily focus on law enforcement, search and rescue and environmental protection.

Myanmar has almost 2,000km of coast.

Before the formation of the coastguard, Myanmar’s navy was solely responsible for stamping out illegal fishing from neighboring countries and other crimes.

The size of the coastguard is unknown.

The formation of the coastguard was initiated by the NLD in 2018 to tackle human and drug traffickers, illegal fishing and other law-enforcement issues.

In 2019 the military-appointed deputy minister of defense told parliament the coastguard would fall under the military-controlled ministry.

Myanmar has been in turmoil following the coup in February when the military seized power from the NLD. Since then Myanmar has faced mass protests, bloody crackdowns and growing armed civilian resistance against the regime.

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