K. Male'
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11 May 2024 | Sat 16:39
Moosa Zameer speaking to press
Moosa Zameer speaking to press
RaajjeMV
Indian troops withdrawn
Indian doctors in Senahiya will remain, 76 soldiers withdrawn: gov’t
 
Doctors at Senahiya will also be sent away if they do anything that compromises the independence of Maldives
 
76 Indian soldiers were withdrawn on six dates in the last three months
 
12 Indian soldiers in Addu City’s Gan district were withdrawn on March 7

The government has confirmed that the last of the remaining Indian troops in the Maldives have been withdrawn and that the number of soldiers withdrawn is 76.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference held at the President’s Office on Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer revealed that all the Indian soldiers stationed across the Maldives have been withdrawn, except for the Indian doctors working at Senahiya Hospital, who will remain.

The minister said that 76 Indian soldiers were withdrawn on six dates in the last three months.

By March 10, all Indian troops in southernmost Addu City were withdrawn. Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) revealed that all the Indian military personnel stationed in Addu left in different groups.

FM Zameer revealed that 12 Indian soldiers in Addu City’s Gan district were withdrawn on March 7, 14 soldiers in Addu City Gan were withdrawn on March 9, 13 soldiers stationed in Hanimaadhoo island were withdrawn on April 7, 12 soldiers in Hanimaadhoo were withdrawn on April 9, 12 soldiers in Kadhdhoo were withdrawn on May 7 and 13 soldiers in Kadhdhoo island were withdrawn on May 9.

The minister also said that the doctors at Senahiya will also be sent away if they do anything that compromises the independence and sovereignty of the nation.

Indian troops were stationed in three regions of the Maldives; 26 to operate the helicopter in Gan district of southernmost Addu City, 25 soldiers to operate the helicopter in Kadhdhoo island of Laamu atoll and 25 who were stationed in Hanimaadhoo island of Haa Dhaal atoll to operate the Dornier aircraft.

Earlier, government officials had asserted that the helicopters donated by India to the Maldives would be operated by the Maldivian armed forces, however they had brought in Indian soldiers for operation.

An exact number of soldiers brought from India, was not disclosed.

It was earlier revealed that the Indian military personnel at the last of the three aviation platforms in the Maldives, would be withdrawn by 10 May 2024.

Troops from one more platform were withdrawn on 10 April 2024.

Speaking to press on May 6, Heena Waleed revealed that 51 soldiers had left by then including the soldiers that were operating the Dornier aircraft and the two helicopters.

The governments of Maldives and India agreed that India would withdraw the military personnel in one of the three aviation platform by 10 March 2024, during the second meeting of the high-level core group between the Maldives and India.

During his first-ever presidential address delivered to the public at the inaugural sitting of the first People’s Majlis session of 2024, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu announced that the governments of India and Maldives agreed to complete the process of withdrawing military personnel by 10 May 2024.

The president noted back then that efforts were underway to evacuate Indian military personnel from the Maldives, and this was being done through dialogue and discussions from both sides, under diplomatic rules.

26 soldiers were sent to Maldives by India to take over the helicopter operations, in February 2023.

Stressing on the need to increase resources for the defence and security of the island nation, the president earlier said that there was a need to enhance the archipelago nation’s capabilities to defend itself by land, sea, and air routes.

The president noted that the biggest pledge he made was to protect the sovereignty and independence of the Maldivian people.

The government released different figures regarding the number of Indian soldiers in the Maldives, on different occasions, several times.

Most recently, the president said that the number of Indian soldiers is still not completely clear and that findings so far indicate that the figure is roughly between 77 – 89.

However, the incumbent administration back when it was the main opposition during Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s rule, claimed that there were more than 1,000 armed Indian troops stationed nationwide.

Last updated at: 1 month ago
Reviewed by: Maryam Dhaanish Nasheed
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