Global Insider: Burma’s Border Security

Burma's border security is increasingly an issue of concern for its neighbors, with armed rebel groups reportedly mobilizing in Burmese border regions. In an e-mail interview, Nicholas Farrelly, an associate investigator in the Center of Excellence in Policing and Security at the Australian National University, explains the significance of border security in Burma's relations with its neighbors.

WPR: What are the main sources of insecurity along Burma's borders?

Nicholas Farrelly: Burma shares borders with five countries -- Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. Often the consideration of border issues focuses on the Burma-Thailand border, which is the most accessible and also where the most significant infrastructure is located, thereby facilitating the examination of border issues there. Thailand's border districts also host large numbers of Burmese refugees, currently about 150,000, and many nongovernmental organizations, journalists and researchers use this area as a launch pad for working on Burma issues more generally.

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