Myanmar army cracks down on NSCN (K) leaders

MANDALAY, MAR 14 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/14/2019 11:42:33 AM IST

Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) has taken more than a dozen leaders of the NSCN (K) faction led by Yung Aung into custody after an operation against their base at Taga in Sagaing Division of Myanmar last month.

Top Burmese army officials told Northeast Now that these leaders have been told to dismantle their bases in Sagaing and continue their negotiations with Burmese authorities under the framework of the Nationwide Ceasefire arrangement. The NSCN (K) has maintained the ceasefire arrangement with Myanmar government since 2012, despite reneging on their ceasefire with India.

“We will not allow any hostile activity against India from our soil,” said a top Myanmarese army official but he requested anonymity as he was not officially authorized to speak to the media.

The Tatmadaw raided the NSCN (K) bases at Taga in early February and dismantled them. The NSCN (K) leaders did not resist because they wanted to maintain the cease-fire.

The army official said that the NSCN (K) leaders will have to remain in designated camps and not carry out any hostile activity against India from Burmese soil. The Myanmar army has also attacked ULFA bases and that of Manipuri rebel groups in and around Taga. Some ULFA rebels like ‘maj.’ Jyotirmoy Asom have died in the Burmese army operation.

Sources in NSCN (K) confirmed that they have been told to stop aiding anti-Indian rebel groups or face severe consequences.

The developments in Sagaing spells the death knell of the North Eastern rebel groups since the remote hill region in Myanmar was their last trans-border base area after Bhutan and Bangladesh had cracked down against anti-Indian rebels in their territory in 2003 and 2009.

Indian army sources said that many rebels from Manipur and Assam have also surrendered to authorities after fleeing Sagaing following the Myanmar military operations.

“The chain of command in these groups has broken down following the Burmese military operation. Many of them are running around like headless chickens,” they said.

Myanmar military officials said that they have “excellent understanding” with Indian military officials, cemented during the last several months following regular visits by top commanders on either side.

After the Tatmadaw overran the group’s headquarters in Taga village, Nanyun township, Sagaing Region, on January 29, the NSCN (K) has planned extensive meetings with Naga community and religious leaders to establish peace in the Naga Self-Administered Zone of Myanmar’s Sagaing Region. A civilian committee was formed on February 24 to reduce tensions between the military and the armed group.

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