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Indian drought relief to arrive in Madagascar

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Indian drought relief to arrive in Madagascar

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Photo: Reuters

An Indian aid shipment to Madagascar is expected to arrive at the Port of Ehoala between today and Wednesday.

The Indian naval vessel, the INS Jalashwa, is carrying food to relieve a drought in Madagascar. Also on board is a naval team expected to conduct joint training with Madagascar’s special forces. The island nation already hosts an Indian military outpost tasked with monitoring shipping movements in the Indian Ocean.

The humanitarian and military nature of the aid effectuates Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s SAGAR policy, which promotes an Indian-led maritime security blanket in the region. Under the policy, these kinds of shipments will continue in the foreseeable future, as they serve to exert Indian influence in a region that India traditionally regards as its sphere of influence. Further, SAGAR aims to counter a growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean, which is currently expanding from Chinese-funded strategic ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The risk of Madagascar becoming entangled in future Indo-Chinese tensions is almost certain to increase once a secret Indian air base located on a remote island northeast of Madagascar is built, given the likely communications between that base and the Malagasy outpost.

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Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

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