The Karen National Union (KNU), one of Myanmar’s oldest ethnic minority groups, said it was worried about the military’s excessive use of force and the loss of innocent civilian lives as fighting intensifies all over the country.
“The KNU will continue to fight against military dictatorship and provide as much protection as possible to people and unarmed civilians,” it said in a statement.
The military says it seized power to protect democracy because its complaints of fraud in a November election won by Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling party were ignored
Protests across Myanmar
Anti-junta protests took place in Kachin state, Dawei, Sagaing region and the commercial capital, Yangon, op Donderdag, with demonstrators carrying banners and making three-finger gestures of defiance.
Some showed support for those resisting military rule in Mandalay, the second-biggest city, where a firefight took place between the army and a newly formed guerrilla group on Tuesday, the first sign of armed clashes in a major urban center since the coup.
The military-owned Myawaddy Television said four members of the militia were arrested on Thursday, beskryf hulle as “terrorists”.
Ten minste 877 people have been killed by security forces and more than 6,000 arrested since the coup, according to the Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an advocacy group which the junta has declared an illegal organization.
A diplomatic effort by Southeast Asian countries to halt the violence and initiate dialogue between all sides has stalled and the generals say they will stick to their plan of restoring order and holding elections in two years.
In its nightly news bulletin, state-run MRTV reported on the visit of junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to Russia, where a military university named him an honorary professor.
Unlike most global powers, Russia has embraced the junta and the country has long been a key source of Myanmar’s weaponry. His visit comes amid international pressure on countries not to sell arms to the military or do business with its vast network of companies.
State media on Thursday carried excerpts from a speech in Russia by Min Aung Hlaing in which he said it was necessary for countries to avoid encroaching on another nation’s sovereignty.
“Myanmar is striving for restoring political peace and stability,” it quoted him saying. “The current government is focusing on the reappearance of honesty over democracy.”