A parallel government formed by Myanmar's pro-democracy forces declared Tuesday the launch of what it calls a "defensive war" against the country's military which ousted its members from power in a February coup.
The National Unity Government launched "a people's defensive war against the military junta," the group's acting president, Duwa Lashi La, said in a video speech posted on Facebook, calling on citizens across the country to revolt against "the rule of the military terrorists."
It is unclear, however, whether actual fighting will ensue.
People stage a rally in Yangon, Myanmar, on Feb. 22, 2021, in protest against the Feb. 1 military coup. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
In the speech, Duwa Lashi La said the military has detained or killed many people since it ousted the democratically elected government and seized power.
"With the responsibility to protect the life and properties of the people," he said the parallel government calls on units within the "People's Defense Force," its armed wing, to contain the military and its supporting organizations in their respective areas.
He also called on armed ethnic minority groups to "immediately attack" coup leader and military chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and the military council led by him.
He asked countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as the United Nations and other concerned countries to understand the group is acting out of necessity given the situation in Myanmar.
Since the Feb. 1 coup, military crackdowns on anti-coup protesters and others had resulted in 1,049 deaths and the detention of 7,904 people as of Monday, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group tracking the situation in Myanmar.