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International relations

Maldives crisis risks fueling India-China confrontation

The island nation needs aid to stabilize its courts and other institutions

| China
Police officers stand guard near the headquarters of former president Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldives Democratic Party on Feb. 6 after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency   © Reuters

The political stalemate in the Maldives risks drawing China and India into conflict unless the tiny Indian Ocean island nation quickly receives international help to address the roots of the tensions besetting it.

The fight involves all the men who have ruled the country over the last 40 years: President Abdulla Yameen, who has been in power since 2012; half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, whose authoritarian rule lasted from 1978 until 2008; and Mohamed Nasheed, a former human rights activist and political prisoner who served as president between the two brothers.

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