One year after declaring a “resistance war” against the coup regime that seized power in February 2021, Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG), knows that it is still too soon to say that victory is within reach.
Although the NUG says that the resistance has deprived the junta led by armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing of control over much of the country, its ultimate goal—of ending military rule once and for all—will only be reached when it has overcome a number of serious hurdles, he says.
While a huge disparity in firepower remains one obvious challenge, another is the need to transform the many groups opposed to the regime into a more cohesive fighting force. In a recent interview with Myanmar Now, the NUG president stressed the importance of both funding and training. Finding the financial means to properly equip those fighting on the frontlines has been a major priority of the NUG, he said, but it is not the only one. Another is providing young volunteers with training that doesn’t just make them combat-ready, but also deepens their familiarity with codes of conduct and chains of command.
But properly armed—with both weapons and military discipline—the NUG’s People’s Defence Force (PDF) and its many allies will ultimately prevail, he insisted.