New Delhi: India on Tuesday asked its citizens in Myanmar’s Rakhine state to leave the troubled-region immediately in view of the deteriorating security situation. In its first advisory following the spike in violence, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asked Indians not to travel to the Rakhine state because of the prevailing situation, including disruption in the telecommunication network and scarcity of essential commodities.”In view of the deteriorating security situation, disruption of means of telecommunications, including landlines, and severe scarcity of essential commodities, all Indian citizens are advised not to travel to the Rakhine State of Myanmar,” it said.”Those Indian citizens who are already in the Rakhine State are advised to leave the State immediately,” the MEA said.Myanmar has been witnessing widespread violent protests demanding restoration of democracy since the military seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021.The Rakhine state and many other regions have witnessed severe fighting between armed ethnic groups and the Myanmarese military since October last year.The hostilities between the two sides saw a rapid spike since November in several key Myanmarese towns and regions near the border with India as well, fuelling concerns in New Delhi over the possible ramifications for the security of Manipur and Mizoram.The Myanmarese military has been using airstrikes targeting its opponents and those carrying out an armed struggle against the ruling regime.Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and it shares a 1,640-kilometre border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.Last week, India called for a complete cessation of violence in the country and its transition towards inclusive federal democracy.”We are concerned over the deteriorating situation in Myanmar which has direct implications for us,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on February 1.”As a neighbouring country and friend of Myanmar, India has long been advocating for complete cessation of violence and Myanmar’s transition towards inclusive federal democracy,” he said at his weekly media briefing.


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