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Myanmar coup: Shadow government defense chief urges West to provide arms to resistance in fight against junta

Ninjastrikers / Wikimedia Commons

It has been more than a year since the Myanmar military seized control of the country and ousted its democratically-elected government. The defense chief of the country’s shadow government has now urged the West to provide its resistance with arms in order to take on the junta.

This week, Myanmar’s shadow government, the National Unity Government’s defense chief Yee Mon has called on the international community to provide its resistance forces with arms to fight the Myanmar military, which has engaged in a brutal crackdown since the takeover last year. Yee Mon requested support similar to what is being given to Ukraine as it fights Russian forces.

“The stance of the international community for Myanmar is moral support for us and we are grateful for it. We will be much more appreciative if we get physical support such as arms and funding,” said Yee Mon in written remarks given to Reuters.

“With that support, we will be able to end the revolution sooner, minimizing the loss of people and their property,” said Yee Mon.

The NUG, an alliance of anti-junta groups and members of the ousted administration, declared a “people’s defensive war” last year to derail the military’s efforts to consolidate power following the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. The military generals called the NUG “terrorists.”

The spokesperson for the US State Department said in an email that Washington continues to pressure the junta to end the violence and was working with partners to restore Myanmar’s path to democracy, but did not provide weapons or any military support to any group in the country.

Over the weekend, Malaysia’s foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah met with his NUG counterpart on the sidelines of the US-ASEAN summit in Washington, marking the group’s first open engagement with a country in the region. The junta leader was barred from attending ASEAN events, and non-political envoys have represented the country in such conferences.

Saifuddin shared the meeting with his NUG counterpart Zin Mar Aung on Twitter, saying that Malaysia is prepared to support the efforts to “restoring peace and democracy in Myanmar.”

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also met with Zin Mar Aung Friday last week in a show of support “for all working to restore Burma’s path to inclusive democracy.”

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