Myanmar’s shadow gov’t announces new armed force

The government set up by ousted lawmakers in Myanmar has formed the People’s Defense Force to challenge the military junta, which overthrew the elected government on Feb.1.

The National Unity Government shared on Friday a video on its Facebook page showing a batch of recruits parading in camouflage uniform.

The video has been released in the name of Yee Mon, the shadow government’s defense minister.

“The People’s Defense Force must protect the people,” an unidentified officer is heard saying in the video. “We will fight to win this battle.”

The Myanmar military staged the coup by overthrowing Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government. She and members of her National League for Democracy party are among the thousands detained since then.

The 75-year-old is on trial on a series of charges said to be politically motivated.

The army took power alleging fraud in a November 2020 election that was swept by her party. It has branded the government in exile a terrorist group.

Pro-democracy protests by groups opposing the takeover have taken place in cities and towns across the Southeast Asian country almost daily.

The junta’s forces have killed at least 833 people, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights watchdog.

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