Myanmar Military Defectors Accuse Coup Leader of High Treason

By The Irrawaddy 14 October 2021

A group of defectors from the Myanmar military has called for the removal of coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his fellow generals from their posts for committing high treason.

People’s Soldiers, a group formed by troops who have defected from the military to support the resistance against the junta, said in a Wednesday statement that the generals had committed treason and breached military law by trying to force President U Win Myint to resign on the morning of their February 1 coup.

“On behalf of all Myanmar military soldiers and officers, we hereby declare the removal from office of Min Aung Hlaing and senior military officials for having committed treasonous acts,” said the statement.

The group cited court testimony given on Tuesday by ousted civilian President U Win Myint in their announcement.

President U Win Myint, who has been detained since the coup, testified that two generals tried to force him to resign from his position on the grounds of “ill health”. The President refused to resign, despite being warned that “harm” would come to him if he didn’t step down.

The President’s testimony is the first time he has spoken in public about the circumstances of his detention. It is the strongest evidence yet that Snr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and his fellow generals committed high treason by ousting the democratically-elected National League for Democracy government, a lawyer told The Irrawaddy.

People’s Soldiers said that all military personnel from ordinary soldiers to the Commander-in-Chief have a responsibility to be loyal to the country and its citizens and to protect the state.

“In order to protect the state and its citizens, which is a primary duty of the military, Min Aung Hlaing and his associates must be punished,” People’s Soldiers added in the statement.

The group also called on serving soldiers to join the civilian resistance to the military regime as soon as possible.

They stated that military personnel have no need to obey the orders of Snr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and his fellow generals, as they are no longer regarded as representing the military. Any obedience and support given to the coup leaders will be the same as abetting their crimes and violations of the military’s code of conduct and laws, added People’s Soldiers.

Around 2,500 soldiers and police have left the Myanmar military to join the Civil Disobedience Movement, a nationwide campaign by civil servants who are refusing to work for the junta.

Many more are expected to defect in the near future, according to People’s Soldiers.

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