Myanmar’s pro-democracy resistance forces have attacked military government personnel conducting a population survey, in an attempt to disrupt preparations for an election later this year that they consider illegitimate.
Units of the People’s Defense Force, the loosely organized armed wing of the main opposition group, the National Unity Government, have claimed responsibility for several attacks in the past few weeks. At least two police officer have been killed, along with other local officials.
The NUG was established by elected lawmakers who were prevented from taking their seats when the army seized power in 2021 and serves as an underground parallel national administration.
Since the population survey began on Jan. 9, at least 13 people have been killed and four government workers have been detained by the resistance, according to pro-military and independent media and statements issued by resistance groups. It was impossible to verify details of all the incidents.
The state-run Myanma Alinn newspaper reported on Jan. 14 that survey activities were attacked seven times and two policemen were killed by “terrorist” groups between Jan. 9 and Jan. 13.
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the country’s military ruler, said in a Jan. 4 Independence Day speech that free and fair elections will be held in line with the 2008 Constitution after the end of a state of emergency that was declared when he led the February 2021 takeover that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The emergency decree is expected to be lifted at the end of this month.