Myanmar soldiers train in Mizoram

Silchar, Dec. 29: A 20-member team of the Myanmar army, led by a colonel, recently underwent training on various facets of counter-insurgency operations at the Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairangte village in north Mizoram.

The counter-insurgency school is a 42-year-old elite training institute where army and paramilitary personnel are provided rigorous training in various guerrilla warfare techniques. The idea is to create elite combat troops who can fight guerrillas like guerrillas.

The school, under the army’s eastern command, is said to be biggest establishment of its kind in Asia.

School sources said the Myanmar army team made a discreet landing in the defence enclave of Silchar airport on December 4 and were then whisked away in army vehicles to the school, 67km away. The same secrecy was maintained during their departure via Calcutta on December 24.

Sources said the training of the team in the school was cleared late this year after Yangon had broached the subject during talks with Indian government officials in New Delhi. India had also waived customs formalities, to allow landing of their aircraft at Silchar airport.

In a quid pro quo, the Indian authorities are understood to be pressing Myanmar’s military junta to take a tough stand against Northeast militants holed up in that country.

The counter-insurgency school is located on a 600-acre plot, spread over two hills and amid woodlands, in a strategic place in Vairangte, and is under the command of a brigadier.

The school has already hosted troops from the US at least a dozen times before they were deployed in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

It has also trained troops from other countries including the UK, France, Italy, Israel, Lebanon, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

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