Armed resistance to the Burma Army and its illegitimate junta, established by the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing, is intensifying day-by-day. It’s been one year since the National Unity Government (NUG) declared its “People’s Defensive War” on Sept. 7, 2021. For the uprising against a return to military rule to truly be effective, it must spread nationwide, several members of ethnic armed organizations (EAO) told DVB.
Burma’s NUG declared a ‘defensive war’ against Min Aung Hlaing’s junta after it cracked down on anti-coup protests, arresting, jailing and killing those who oppose his power grab.
“We can say our people’s resistance to war has rapidly risen. However, it is not ideal to reach victory only through armed revolution. That is why we need to work on every front,” Padoh Mahn Mhan, the former joint secretary of the KNU, told DVB.
“We especially have to use diplomacy, people’s war, armed revolution, and constitutional law. We need to do more work on diplomacy and politics so that we can end our fight and win,” he added.
The NUG Acting President, Duwa Lashi La, stated during his speech on Sept. 7 that it and its allies control over half of the country’s territory. He claims that more than 20,150 Burma Army troops have been killed and 7,000 have been injured in clashes.
Duwa Lashi La added that, regrettably, more than 1,500 members of the People’s Defense Force (PDF) and its allied ethnic armed groups have been killed. But he rejoiced over that fact that 300 PDF battalions were formed in the last 12 months, and now operate in over 250 out of Burma’s 330 townships.
“Although we called for a nationwide D-Day, fighting has not occurred at a nationwide scale. We have 14 states and regions but clashes have only escalated in two states and four regions,” said Aung San Myint, the second secretary at the Karen National Progressive Party (KNPP).
“I mean, I’ve heard of IED [Improvised Explosive Device] explosions in other areas, but we called [for the] D-Day so the whole country would fight together, but I don’t see everyone taking part,” he added.
Since the February 2021 coup, over 6,600 clashes have occurred in Karen State. In Hpapun township alone, 3,734 clashes took place with the junta, according to ISP Myanmar – a local monitoring group.
UNOCHA Myanmar stated that more than 500,000 people have fled their homes due to the armed conflict since last year’s coup. More than one million people are displaced nationwide in Burma.
Aung San Myint said that two-thirds, or 66 percent, of the population in Karenni State fled their homes even before the “People’s Defensive War” was launched. “We fought the Burma Army before D-Day,” he added.
Duwa Lashi La urged the NUG and its allies to try to achieve victory by overcoming the challenges faced by revolutionary forces, and to learn from mistakes over the past year to defeat the junta and make Min Aung Hlaing face justice for the crimes he has committed against the people of Burma. | BURMESE