Opponents of Myanmar‘s junta announced a National Unity Government on Friday including ousted members of parliament and leaders of anti-coup protests and ethnic minorities, saying their aim was to root out military rule and restore democracy.
Myanmar has been in violent turmoil since a Feb. 1 coup that ousted a civilian government led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, which had held power for five years and was starting its second term after a landslide election victory in November.
People have been taking to the streets day after day to demand the restoration of democracy, defying crackdowns by the security forces in which more than 700 people have been killed, according to a monitoring group.
At the same time, political leaders, including ousted members of parliament from Suu Kyi’s party, have been trying to organise to show the country and the outside world that they and not the generals are the legitimate political authority.
“Please welcome the people’s government,” veteran democracy activist Min Ko Naing said in a 10-minute video address announcing the formation of the National Unity Government.
While setting out few positions, Min Ko Naing said the will of the people was the unity government’s priority, while acknowledging the scale of the task at hand.
“We’re trying to get this out from the roots so we have to sacrifice a lot,” he said, referring to the junta.
A spokesman for the junta could not be reached for comment.
The generals justified their take-over with accusations of fraud in the November election won by Suu Kyi’s party, though the election commission dismissed the objections.
One of the unity’s government’s primary objectives will be to win international support and recognition.
Its minister of international cooperation, Dr Sasa, told reporters the United States and Britain had recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of that country.
“We are the democratically elected leaders of Myanmar,” said Sasa, who goes by one name. “So if the free and democratic world rejects us that means they reject democracy.”
International pressure has also been building on the Myanmar military, particularly from


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