Withdrawal of Indian troops from Maldives begins after orders to step down: Report

India has started withdrawing its troops from the Maldives after the country’s pro-China President Mohammed Muizzu ordered them to leave the archipelago by May 10, local media reported on Tuesday.

The Miharu newspaper reported that about 25 Indian military personnel stationed in the southernmost atoll of Addu had left the country before March 10, the official start of the withdrawal agreed upon by both India and the Maldives.

Following talks between Male and New Delhi, both sides had agreed to complete the withdrawal of 89 Indian soldiers and their support staff from the country by 10 May. Miharu said three Indian aircraft – two helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft – to be operated by Indian civilian crews, have already arrived in the island nation.

Although there has been no official confirmation from Maldivian or Indian authorities, Miharu said the Maldives National Defense Force has confirmed that the withdrawal of Indian troops has begun.

After coming to power in September last year, Muizzu had pledged that no Indian security personnel deployed in the Maldives would be allowed to patrol its vast maritime border.

Published on:

March 12, 2024