Myanmar’s shadow government defense commander has requested foreign assistance to arm resistance fighters against the governing military, demanding support akin to that offered to Ukrainians resisting invading Russian troops.
Ukraine’s people and Myanmar’s pro-democracy forces are all fighting for freedom and risking their lives, but those facing Myanmar’s well-equipped army require more than international sympathy, according to Yee Mon, the National Unity Government’s (NUG) defense minister.
“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,” he said in a statement provided for Reuters.
“With that support, we will be able to end the revolution sooner, minimizing the loss of people and their property.”
Last year, the NUG, an anti-junta alliance, launched a “people’s defensive war” in the countryside to stymie the military’s efforts to consolidate control following its deadly, months-long assault on pro-democracy protesters. The junta has labeled the NUG as “terrorists.”
While Western countries have condemned the military takeover and the subsequent violence, no Western democracy has formally recognized the junta or the shadow National Unity Government (NUG) as Myanmar’s legitimate government.
Instead, Western nations appear to have determined that, despite a lack of expertise in conflict resolution, continuing to rely on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) sluggish negotiations for a peaceful solution to the problem is the best course of action.
And while the world waits for ASEAN to step up its game, the militias are using light arms, rudimentary rifles, and homemade explosives to fight the military, which has been accused by the United Nations of using heavy weapons and air strikes against civilian populations.