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The Arakan Army (AA), an armed ethnic group fighting Myanmar’s military junta, has surprisingly expressed support for the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP) in a recent interview. This project, spearheaded by India, aims to connect the two nations through a waterway and road link, offering significant economic benefits.

Despite ongoing conflict with the Myanmar military, the AA spokesperson, representing the United League of Arakan (ULA), stated that the project would be “totally safe” after they “re-capture Kaladan and Laymro river deltas.” This signals a potential shift in stance, given prior concerns about the project’s impact on local communities and potential exploitation by the junta.

The spokesperson further emphasized their openness to cooperation with India, stating, “We have no problem with India and are ready to cooperate for mutual benefit.” This could pave the way for future dialogue and collaboration once the political landscape in Myanmar stabilizes.

However, challenges remain. The KMMTTP has faced delays due to the volatile political situation and complex logistics, including the construction of a critical 109 km road segment within Myanmar. The initial completion date of 2014, followed by the revised December 2023 deadline, have already been missed.

Despite these hurdles, the AA’s newfound support, coupled with India’s ongoing commitment, highlights the potential of the KMMTTP to foster regional development and trade. Finding common ground amongst stakeholders, including the AA and the future Myanmar government, will be crucial in realizing this crucial project’s full potential.tunesharemore_vert