A leader of the main opposition group refusing to recognize the Myanmar military’s government on Tuesday called for protesters to come together “in every village, town and city in the entire country” to revolt against the regime.
Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of the National Unity Government, said in a speech that Myanmar was in a “state of emergency” following months of crackdowns on demonstrators and journalists since the military’s February coup ousted the country’s civilian government.
The leader of the group, which includes elected legislators who were prevented from taking their seats following the military coup, said opponents should revolt “in every village, town and city in the entire country at the same time,” according to The Associated Press.
He went on to say in his 14-point speech that military-appointed leaders should "immediately leave your positions,” and called on security force members to team up with pro-democracy and ethnic militias to fight back against the military, Reuters reported.
Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the military, dismissed the calls for an uprising, arguing that the move was an attempt to gain recognition from the United Nations General Assembly, which is scheduled to convene next week.
"They are working to bring the international attention back," he said, according to Reuters, adding that media outlets were "spreading fake news" on the events in Myanmar.
Initially peaceful protests following the military’s ousting of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government have escalated into violent clashes, with reports noting that security forces have used deadly force on some demonstrators.
Analysts have estimated that more than 1,000 people have died in the violence since the February military coup, with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) noting last month that many of those dead were anti-military activists.
The unity government, which labels itself as a shadow government, has aimed to unite various groups opposed to the coup, which military leaders justified by advancing claims of corruption and widespread fraud in the country’s elections.
The AP noted that Mahn Winn Khaing Thann, the shadow government’s prime minister, said in a separate statement Tuesday that the opposition’s call for an uprising resulted from “changing circumstances” that required the complete overthrow of the military government, though the leader did not provide any additional details on the situation.