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Myanmar’s Revolutionary NUG Defines Objectives


For the first time the revolutionary forces in Myanmar have come out with a clear definition of objectives which provides a focus to the resistance to the Tatmadaw in the political as well as the military sphere and will attract support of more ethnic groups.


Post military coup in Myanmar on February 01, 2021, the opposition to the Tatmadaw rapidly consolidated with the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) and its advisory body, the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC).


This may have surprised many for in the past such a cohesive resistance had not been build up post take over by the Myanmar military.


However, 10 years of somewhat fractured democracy had possibly fired the imagination of the political class led by the National League for Democracy (NLD). While NLD chair Aung Suu Kyi was jailed and is now sentenced for 33 years on various charges, the second rung leadership sprang into action to create the basic framework of the NUG as it exists today.


Importantly given the wider ethnic composition of the State of Myanmar with multiple ethnic groups, NUG leaders wisely choose to form the NUCC integrating ethnic armed organisations [EAOs] and their political parties.


The NUCC thus is a coalition council which includes NUG’s parliamentary wing, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), EAOs and their political affiliates and civil society organizations as per the Irrawaddy.


In a statement released on X formerly Twitter, the NUG outlined the objectives of organizations fighting the military in the Spring Revolution.


The goal was to establish a federal union which has been anathema to the military and has been the demand of the EAOs for decades. The NUG and affiliates desire not just a transition or defeat of the military dictatorship but also circumscribe military involvement in politics.


“To achieve the ultimate goal [building a federal union], we strongly believe that it’s necessary not only to wipe out the military dictatorship but the military’s involvement in the country’s politics and its tendency to stage coups,” it said.


The armed wing of the federation will be the Federal Union Army which will be formed from the network of People’s Defense Force groups (PDFs) and EAOs waging a war against the military. Under the control of a civilian government unlike the Tatmadaw, the “Federal Union Army” will comprise of ethnic nationalities to defend against external threats.





They also pledged to continue their fight “without turning back… hand-in-hand with the people of all ethnic groups across the country” and “fully guaranteeing political processes towards building a federal democratic union, and with collective leadership and collective responsibility on the basis of equality, until we have achieved our ultimate goal.”


Irrawaddy reported that Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the external affairs chief of the Karen National Union (KNU), one of Myanmar’s oldest and most powerful ethnic armed groups, said the NUG and NUCC’s stand is the same as the KNU’s when it comes to toppling the dictatorship. The KNU’s armed wings, the Karen National Liberation Army and the Karen National Defense Organization, are fighting alongside the NUG’s PDFs. “Our view is clear. Any kind of dictatorship, including military, must be wiped out from our country,” he said.


Review


In proposing a federation which the Tatmadaw has been resisting for decades, the NUG may have hit upon the right national configuration that will provide an opening for the EAOs to give up their armed struggle and join the federation. Yet to achieve the objective, first a defeat of the Myanmar Armed Forces on the multiple battlegrounds in Myanmar is essential, which is a work in progress for now.

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