Refugees From Myanmar Pour Into Mizoram
AIZAWL, (IANS) – A fresh wave of refugees from Myanmar crossed into Mizoram for shelter after the Myanmar armed forces launched a fresh offensive against civilians and Arakan Army militants, officials said on September 6.
District officials said that during the past one week, 619 refugees from the neighboring Chin state of Myanmar took shelter in four villages in southern Mizoram.
The Myanmar army has been attacking different villages of Chin state along the borders since August 30. According to officials, the Myanmar villagers used boats to bring all their belongings, rations, and livestock into Mizoram.
Before the fresh influx, there were already 5,320 Myanmar refugees in Lawngtlai. The hapless men, women and children had crossed the Tiau river by small boats and used forest tracks to reach Mizoram.
The newcomers were now staying with their relatives and friends, as well as in community halls and unused buildings.
Around 31,000 Myanmar nationals, including 11,798 children and 10,047 women, have taken shelter in 11 districts of Mizoram, with which their country shares an over 500-km-long unfenced border, since the military junta led by army chief General Min Aung Hlaing seized power in February last year.
These include 14 lawmakers.
The majority of the Myanmarese who have taken shelter belong to the Chin community, also known as the Zo community, who share the same ancestry, ethnicity, and culture as the Mizos, who dominate Mizoram’s 1.2 million tribal population.