The New York Times: Armed Resistance Struggling in Myanmar

Thousands of civilians received secret military training. Together with the ethnic rebels, they fought the Myanmar army for decades and helped fill the ranks of the People's Defense Forces.

  • Villagers hide in bush after fleeing Myanmar army attack in Kalay district
    Villagers hide in bushes after fleeing Myanmar army attack in Kalay district

Seven months after the elected government was toppled in Myanmar, the country's fearsome army is stepping up its attacks on a largely improvised armed resistance, The New York Times reported.

The army's escalating attacks on opposition militias have driven thousands of people into the forests, some of them littered with venomous snakes, malaria, and dengue fever. These people are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus, have few resources, and often bring in little possessions.

Despite the dangers lurking in these forests, many prefer it over the rule of the military council. 

Thousands of civilians, some of them young urbanites who have indulged in video gaming more so than fighting in wars, have received secret military training. Together with the ethnic rebels who fought the Myanmar army for decades, they helped fill the ranks of the People's Defense Forces.

Last week, a few days after a raid on Yay Shin, a village deep in the Himalayan foothills, the Government of National Unity - a shadow government set up by opposition politicians - doubled down on its call for a "nationwide uprising". 

A video they posted on social media, calling for the uprising, was met with enthusiastic support and renewed battle cries from local militias.

The tyrannical army continues the decades-old massacres of various ethnic minorities yet this time, a much larger portion of the population is affected. 

Since the military coup, about 1,000 protesters and bystanders have been shot dead.