Imphal, Feb 7:
India government has urged its citizens residing in Myanmar’s war-torn Rakhine State to evacuate immediately, citing the worsening security conditions in the region, which borders India. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India issued this advisory on February 6, cautioning Indian nationals already in Rakhine State to leave promptly. Additionally, the MEA advised against traveling to Rakhine due to the escalating security situation, disruptions in telecommunication services, and severe shortages of essential supplies.
The intensifying conflict between Myanmar’s military junta and the Arakan Army (AA) in Rakhine has garnered significant attention from Indian media outlets and raised apprehensions in New Delhi regarding security implications for neighboring states like Manipur and Mizoram. MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Myanmar, emphasizing its direct consequences for India. India has consistently advocated for an end to violence in Myanmar and its transition towards an inclusive federal democracy.
The AA’s actions, including the seizure of military outposts and battalions, have prompted retaliatory measures from the junta, leading to indiscriminate attacks on both AA forces and civilians through land, air, and sea operations. With a shared border spanning 1,020 miles (1,640 km), northeastern Indian states such as Nagaland and Manipur are particularly susceptible to the spillover effects of the conflict in Myanmar.
In response to the escalating violence, India’s MEA previously issued a travel advisory advising Indian citizens in Myanmar to exercise caution and avoid travel to regions affected by violence. The advisory also discouraged inter-state travel by road. Since the resumption of hostilities in Rakhine State in November, the AA has captured numerous junta positions, including strategic locations near the state capital Sittwe and Paletwa Township in southern Chin State.
The Arakan Army, a member of the Brotherhood Alliance, is actively engaged in Operation 1027, aimed at ousting the junta’s military from northern Shan State. As the situation continues to evolve, India remains vigilant and committed to safeguarding the interests and security of its citizens amidst the ongoing conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.