ULFA (I) with leader Paresh Baruah

New Delhi, 17 June, 2019:

The Myanmar Army (also known as ‘Tatmadaw’), with the support of the Indian army, have been carrying out a three-week-long coordinated operation (called ‘Operation Sunrise’) which started on May 16 with the intention of “flushing out” insurgents from Myanmar territory. The army has been targeting several Northeast-based militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.

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The first phase of ‘Operation Sunrise’ was conducted three months ago along the Indo – Myanmar border, during which a number of camps of Northeast-based militant groups (ULFA, NDFB, among others) were busted.

Myanmar is one of the strategic neighbours of India and shares a 1,640-km border with a number of northeastern states, including the militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

India has been pushing for a deeper coordination between the armies of the two countries while guarding the border.

Sources said during ‘Operation Sunrise 2’, the armies co-ordinated with each other to bust camps of militant outfits, including the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), the NSCN (Khaplang), the United Liberation Front of Assam (I) and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

They said at least six dozen militants belonging to these groups were nabbed and several of their camps were destroyed during the operation.

The two sides might launch the third phase of ‘Operation Sunrise’, depending on intelligence inputs and the ground situation.

Besides the Indian Army, troops from the Assam Rifles were also part of the operation.

In June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out an operation against NSCN (K) militants in areas near the Indo-Myanmar border, after militants had killed 18 armymen in Manipur.

In the first phase of ‘Operation Sunrise’, the Indian Army targeted members of the Arakan Army, an insurgent group in Myanmar, who were opposed to the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project.

The Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project is viewed as India’s gateway to Southeast Asia.

India entered into a framework agreement with Myanmar in April, 2008 to facilitate the implementation of the project. On completion, the project will help connect the north – eastern state of Mizoram with the Sittwe Port in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

On the Indian side, work is on to extend the Aizawl-Saiha National Highway by 90 km to the international border at Zorinpui.

There were over 50 camps of insurgent groups from the Northeast in Myanmar till last year.

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