In the month following the military’s Feb. 1 coup, many of Myanmar’s ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), which have been warring with the central government for decades, said they opposed the junta’s overthrowing of the democratically-elected civilian government.
When the Myanmar military killed anti-regime protesters, people in urban areas longed for help from the EAOs in their fight against junta, believing that an armed response is the best hope of stopping the military’s atrocities against unarmed civilians.
But in the three months since the coup, only a few of Myanmar’s 20 EAOs have actually been helping pro-democracy supporters as they “could not bear to watch the civilians being killed brutally by the junta”. The majority have just paid lip service to backing up anti-regime protesters by saying that “the regime will have to take responsibility for what they have done.”
EAOs support for Myanmar’s anti-coup protesters takes several forms. Their attacks on the Myanmar military in border areas hits the regime as they have to deploy more troops to the frontlines, while also having to oppose anti-regime protesters.