India-Pakistan: February 11, 2004

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Six of the seven states in northeastern India (Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya) have been the scene of low level rebellion by tribal militias since India was created in 1947. Some 50,000 people have died from this violence without driving the Indians out (and leaving the tribes to run the region themselves). There are some 30 tribal rebel groups at the moment, and most of them are now engaged in negotiations with the government to reach some kind of compromise. Most of the the negotiations are being done in secret, to prevent further in-fighting among tribal factions (many of whom want to fight on.) Part of the reason for the rebels willingness to negotiate is the half century of failure. But the other reason is the increasing success of the Indian police and army against the rebel camps, and especially the Indian program of getting nearby countries (Bhutan, Burma, Nepal) to attack rebels camps along the border. The international war on terror has also made it more difficult for the rebel groups to raise money overseas.

 

 

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