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Rohingya migrants sit in their room at a temporary shelter, Bayeun, Aceh Province, Indonesia, June 1, 2015 (AP photo by Binsar Bakkara).

From Rohingya to Ethnic Rebels, Myanmar’s Troubles Go Regional

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Over the past month, Myanmar’s multiple domestic crises have spilled over its borders and into South and Southeast Asia, setting back the country’s reforms just before Myanmar’s highly anticipated national elections this fall. Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence and discrimination in western Myanmar have attracted the most global news coverage. Their plight in rickety boats with little food or water has sparked international calls for Myanmar’s government to take stronger measures to end discrimination against the Rohingya and address the crisis at its source.

But the flight of the Rohingya is just one issue undermining Myanmar’s stability. Fighting has flared again between the Myanmar army and ethnic Kokang rebels, known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, based near the Chinese border. Since February, at least 200 people have been killed and more than 50,000 driven out of their homes by fighting between the Kokang and the Myanmar army. Meanwhile, in early June, conflict erupted along the Myanmar-India border between ethnic Naga rebels and Myanmar and India’s militaries. On June 4, Naga rebels ambushed an Indian army patrol, killing at least 18 Indian soldiers. ...

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