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‘Welcome to Chinland’: Armed Myanmar rebel groups install board of New Republic after capturing border towns near Indian border

The Civil-war like conflict is taking place as pro-democracy groups have formed a parallel government and they are also allied with some insurgent groups.

Since ‘Operation 1027’, which was launched on 27th October in the northern Shan State, the armed Ethnic rebel forces have been extending their gains in northern Myanmar. As per Myanmar media reports, the rebels control dozens of military positions and strategic towns important for trade with India and China.

Notably, ‘Operation 1027’ was launched by the “Three Brotherhood Alliance” comprising three ethnic groups, namely the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and the Arakan Army (AA).

Security nightmare for India: Rebel forces erect board of ‘Chinland’, a new Republic at India-Myanmar border

Earlier this week, clashes broke out between the junta’s Infantry Battalion 304 and an alliance of fighters led by the Chin National Army (CNA) in the small town of Lailenpi, located in northwestern Matupi Township. The CNA is the armed wing of the Chin National Front (CNF). 

On Friday (24th November), the armed resistance groups seized another town in Chin State. A week earlier, they had captured the commercial town of Rikhawdar on the India-Myanmar border from the control of the Myanmar junta. 

Following the capturing of the military’s main base in Lailenpi, located some five miles from the Myanmar-India border, the anti-junta armed groups posted a video clip in which they could be seen raising the CNF flag at the captured base.

Speaking with Myanmar Now, CNF spokesperson Salai Htet Ni said, “We seized the base and took control of the town of Lailenpi.” He added that this victory was achieved after three days of attacks on the junta outpost. 

Referring to smaller resistance forces allied with the CNA, the CNF spokesperson added, “We can say that this base also provides security for their tactical command. The location of the Lailenpi base is very important for coordinating between the CNA and local defence forces.” 

As per media reports, the local Chin resistance forces control the majority of the routes in the Chin state cutting down the supply lines and troop movements of the Military junta. This has forced the junta to rely more on airstrikes. As per Salai Htet Ni, during the three-day battle, the junta launched close to 15 airstrikes.

Days after the rebel groups seized control of Rikhawdar and Lailenpi in Chin State, the anti-junta armed groups have also taken control of Khampat, Sagaing Region, another town on the India-Myanmar border.  

In retaliation to the advance of the rebel forces, Myanmar Army, on 14th November, carried out air strikes on Khawmavi and Rihkhawdar villages bordering India. This forced more than 5000 people from Myanmar to cross the Indian border and find refuge in Mizoram. 

Further, this large influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar had been a cause of concern for the Security forces in Mizoram. However, it has increased alarmingly as media reports have noted that the Chinaland Council of the Chin Defense Joint Forces, part of Ethnic groups fighting for democracy in Myanmar, has captured the Tiau-Khawmawi gate of the India-Myanmar border point.

As per Dainik Bhaskar report, it is for the first time that the Rebels have hoisted a banner of ‘new Republic’ near the Indian border. As per reports, the ethnic rebel groups have captured border towns near Mizoram and installed a board stating, “Welcome to Chinland”. 

The Chin rebel group has hoisted the flag of Chin forces along with the ‘Welcome to Chinland’ board. Additionally, the Chin rebel forces have launched a new public administration for the captured area in Rikhawdar Township on the India-Myanmar Border. 

They have also asked 800, out of thousands of Myanmar nationals who entered into the Indian state of Mizoram, to return home safely.  

A local media outlet affiliated with the rebel group said that MNDAA (part of the Three Brotherhood Alliance) in an offensive captured the Kyin San Kyawt border gate which is a major trading point along the Myanmar-China border.

China’s angle in the Civil-war like Conflict

On Sunday (26th November), the Kokang news reported, “MNDAA also reported they seized one more border trade gate, which is called Kyin San Kyawt, in Mongko area, Muse district this morning.”

The report added that the alliance had also taken other positions in the border trade zone after the assault began on Friday. The MNDAA had also raised its flag at the border trade zone at Kyin San Kyawt, a security source told AFP.

This trading point is important because it allows machinery, electrical appliances, agricultural tractors and consumer items to enter the country.

A spokesperson for the MNDAA, Kyaw Naing said, “We are continuing our attacks in northern Shan State.” 

The Civil-war like conflict is taking place as pro-democracy groups have formed a parallel government and they are also allied with some insurgent groups. They have been fighting to oust the Military Junta in Myanmar. For this, they have also launched a “Road to Naypyitaw” campaign which is aimed at taking control of the capital.

China has been rattled by the ongoing conflict and advances of the pro-democracy rebel groups and its security and migration influx implications for it. As per media reports, it began military exercises along its border with Myanmar on Saturday. Additionally, it also urged its citizens to leave the northern part of that country.

Reportedly, more than 80,000 people have fled Myanmar’s northern Shan state because of the ongoing clashes. Some of these displaced Myanmar nationals have also entered China.

Regarding the ongoing developments, Beijing’s Southern Theatre Command said it launched “combat training activities” along the border with Myanmar to “test the ability of troops… to control and close borders and to strike with firepower” and remains “ready to respond to all kinds of emergencies”. 

China announced to conduct military exercises one day after a convoy of trucks carrying goods into Myanmar went up in flames. The Myanmar state media claimed that the act was a result of an insurgent attack. However, the attack on a goods truck near the Chinese border forced the Chinese envoy to meet top officials in Myanmar’s capital for talks on border stability. The rebels have rejected reports of carrying out such an attack stating that they would not take any action that is detrimental to the citizens of Myanmar.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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