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Myanmar's Civil War is Moving Closer to India's Borders, Threatens to Cross Over

Two districts of Manipur - Saiha and Lawngtlai – where thousands of Myanmar’s citizens have come taken refuge, is where a few clashes between Myanmar Army and Arakan Army have been reported.

Suhas Munshi | News18.com

Updated:January 22, 2019, 8:42 AM IST
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Myanmar's Civil War is Moving Closer to India's Borders, Threatens to Cross Over
Police guard a UN convoy as they flee after an attack by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in Buthidaung, Myanmar. (Reuters File Photo)
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Influx of thousands of refugees is not the only concern for India as far as the decades old civil war in Myanmar is concerned. The war is actually coming closer home.

Sources in the home ministry have told News18 that the civil war between Arakan Army, the Rakhine-based insurgent group, and the Myanmar Army, understood to be almost over, is still simmering intermittently and has come very close to India.

Two districts of Manipur - Saiha and Lawngtlai – where thousands of Myanmar’s citizens have come taken refuge, is where a few clashes between MA and AA have been reported.

The proximity of these clashes has sent alarm bells ringing in India’s security establishment. Sources say that a high-powered committee has held a meeting over the implications of the civil war that is looking to move westwards – threatening to cross the international border in Manipur.

According to sources around 1400 refugees from Myanmar had taken refuge in these two districts over the last two years. The number is reported to have reduced to 300 now.

The civil war in Myanmar reportedly was re-stoked last month when Myanmar Army accused the insurgents of attacking and killing 'some' of its soldiers.

Myanmar military announced unilateral ceasefire in the troubled northern and eastern regions for four months, a move observers say is unprecedented.

According to an international media outlet, the current truce between insurgents and the army is unprecedented because ‘only once in Myanmar’s recent conflict history has such an initiative been taken’.

In January 18 2013, when military unilaterally announced a temporary cessation of hostilities in and around Lejayang in Kachin State, it had no specific time frame and was confined to a small geographical area. Currently the truce will expire on April 30.
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