Myanmar’s Shadow Government Forms People’s Defense Force

By The Irrawaddy 5 May 2021

Myanmar’s shadow government formed the People’s Defense Force on Wednesday in an effort to end the junta’s violence against the people of Myanmar.

The National Unity Government (NUG) said in its statement that it has a responsibility to end the military regime’s violence and 70 years of civil war.

The NUG was formed by legally-elected lawmakers to rival the military junta after the Feb. 1 coup.

The NUG also said it has a responsibility to transform the security sector and to establish the Federal Union Army.

It has formed the People’s Defense Force (PDF) as the precursor of Federal Union Army, the NUG said in its statement on Wednesday.

Detailed information about the formation of the People’s Defense Force will be announced later, deputy defense minister Daw Khin Ma Ma Myo of the NUG told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

She said the main task of the PDF is to protect the lives and property of people and the Federal Union.

“This is the state force of the NUG to subdue the junta forces [currently] committing war crimes and crimes on people,” she said.

People in Yangon show their support for Federal Army, the would-be descendant of the People’s Defense Force in early April.

Following the February coup, the military regime has been using lethal weapons including live ammunition, automatic weapons, hand grenades and heavy explosives to attack peaceful anti-regime protesters, labeling them as “rioters.” The military’s deadly crackdown came after the regime faced huge daily protests nationwide.

As of Tuesday, more than 760 people have been slain by the junta forces during their crackdowns, arrests, interrogation, raids and random shootings, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

During their crackdowns and raids, the junta police and soldiers have committed crimes, destroying civilians’ belongings including vehicles, motorbikes and houses. They have stolen motorbikes, phones, money, foods, chickens and pigs.

Faced with the deadly violence on the part of junta forces, people across the country have formed defense units on a self-help basis and have been conducting defensive actions against the military troops trying to conduct crackdowns or raids.

In several townships of Sagaing, Magawe Regions and Chin State, people are resisting the junta troops by taking up the homemade percussion lock firearms and slingshots.

The NUG government said that it has already been in discussions with those community forces about the fight against the military regime.

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