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Escalating Conflict: Infrastructure under attack

by Editorial Team
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Escalating Conflict: Infrastructure under attack

The recent detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) at the bridge at Koubru Leikha on the National Highway road has not only damaged critical infrastructure but has also brought to light the escalating tensions between conflicting groups in Manipur. The repercussions of this attack are manifold, with implications for public safety, regional stability, and inter-community relations.
This act of sabotage has rendered the bridge impassable for heavy armour vehicles, impeding crucial police operations and hindering civilian mobility. The timing of the attack amidst the ongoing clashes between Kuki militants and Meitei village defence volunteers in and around Sekmai exacerbates the complexity of the situation. While the perpetrators remain unidentified, parallels can be drawn to a previous incident where a bridge at Kwakta was demolished using an IED-laden SUV, an act that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) linked to Kuki militants.
Adding to the already tense atmosphere, the recent assault on supply trucks carrying fuel to the valley by the United Kuki National Army (UKNA) underscores the changing dynamics of the conflict. The UKNA claims its actions are in response to perceived disruptions in essential supplies to the valley, effectively holding the region hostage to their demands. With the valley under siege for almost a year due to the Meitei-Kuki conflict, this shift in strategy marks a dangerous escalation.
The targeting of critical infrastructure and supply lines not only undermines the region’s socio-economic stability but also threatens the lives and livelihoods of countless civilians. The destruction of bridges and attacks on vital supply routes cripple essential services, exacerbating the already precarious humanitarian situation in the area. Moreover, such acts of violence breed fear and distrust among communities, deepening existing fault lines and impeding efforts towards reconciliation and peace building.
In light of these developments, it is imperative for all stakeholders, including local authorities, law enforcement agencies, and community leaders, to prioritize dialogue and de-escalation measures. Addressing the root causes of the conflict, such as historical grievances and socio-economic disparities, is essential to fostering sustainable peace and stability in Manipur. Additionally, robust security measures must be implemented to safeguard critical infrastructure and ensure the safety of civilians.
Furthermore, the role of external actors, including neighbouring states and international organizations, cannot be overlooked. Concerted efforts at the regional and international levels are needed to facilitate mediation and conflict resolution initiatives, with a focus on promoting inclusive dialogue and addressing the legitimate concerns of all parties involved.
Ultimately, the recent spate of attacks on infrastructure and supply lines highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to address the underlying drivers of the conflict. Failure to do so risks further escalation and human suffering, with far-reaching consequences for the region’s stability and prosperity. Now more than ever, concerted action is needed to avert a looming humanitarian crisis and pave the way for a peaceful and prosperous future for all communities in the region.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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