Myanmar’s Shadow Govt Calls on Int’l Community to Arm Resistance

By The Irrawaddy 18 May 2022

Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG) has urged the international community to provide arms to its forces fighting against the country’s military regime.

The NUG was formed by ousted lawmakers and their ethnic allies after last year’s coup—in which the military staged a takeover against Myanmar’s democratically elected government—to challenge the junta’s legitimacy at home and abroad. Many in Myanmar take it as their legitimate government and the NUG’s armed wing, the People’s Defense Force (PDF), has been fighting against the regime’s troops across the country.

The shadow government’s Defense Ministry said it has between 80,000 and 100,000 PDF troops under its command and uses 80 percent of its budget to support them but “can’t fully cover them all.”

Western democracies largely back the movement but so far have offered only moral support, in contrast to their arming of the Ukrainian military to help it resists Russia’s invasion.

NUG Defense Minister U Yee Mon told Reuters the shadow government was grateful for the support it had received so far but added, “We will be much more appreciative if we get physical support such as arms and funding.”

“With that support, we will be able to end the revolution sooner, minimizing the loss of people and property,” he added.

Currently, the PDFs are largely arming themselves with rudimentary rifles and homemade explosives to fight the well-equipped military.

To crush the resistance, the regime’s troops have launched airstrikes, raided and torched villages in anti-regime strongholds and committed extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests.

The United Nations says more than 560,000 people have been displaced by the fighting.

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