ANDREW SELTH  |

When Myanmar’s generals seized power on 1 February, sparking an immediate and massive public reaction, it soon became clear the coup would severely test the cohesion and loyalty of the country’s security forces. This was a critical issue as, lacking any popular mandate, the junta depended entirely on coercion and intimidation to enforce its will over the civilian population. Nine months later, it is worth looking at this subject again, for three reasons.

One reason is the continued opposition to the military regime, including from a wide variety of armed groups. Another is the increasing trickle of defections from the armed forces (or Tatmadaw) and Myanmar Police Force (MPF) to the resistance movement. The third reason is a recent report that a senior army officer in a critical command position was arrested for planning to defect to one of the country’s ethnic armed organisations (EAO).

As always, developments in Myanmar are difficult to determine with any confidence. However, some trends are apparent, raising questions about the future of the junta, which now calls itself a ‘caretaker government’.


Please click here to read the full article “Could defections threaten the survival of Myanmar’s military regime? published by Asialink, written by Griffith Asia Institute Adjunct Professor Andrew Selth.