Renewed fighting between the ruling junta in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and pro-democracy forces has led to a new wave of refugees into Mizoram across the Indian border. According to various reports, more than 5,000 people have left the border areas of Burma’s Chin State for India’s northeastern Mizoram State.
To hear today’s news:
The fighting reportedly started after the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) attacked two military bases in Khawmawi and Rihkhawdar in Chin State, near the Indian border. In response, the Burmese army launched air attacks. This new battle is part of it operation 1107launched together since October 27 by all resistance force against military dictatorship in Burma.
Nearly 5,000 refugees
Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, Inspector General of Police Mizoram, said:
“Currently, more than 5,000 people are taking refuge in two villages in Mizoram along the Myanmar border,” adding that many of them were injured.
“Among the 20 injured, including women and children, eight have been taken to Aizawl for better medical treatment and the rest are being treated in Champhai,” the IGP added. There will be at least one death. The injured were treated by local non-governmental organizations. Many Myanmar nationals were caught in the crossfire and injured while passing through India this week.
45 Burmese soldiers who crossed the border were sent back to Burma
Among the refugees are 45 soldiers. According to an officer’s testimony, 39 soldiers first crossed the international border and came to Zokhawthar police station armed with weapons on Monday (November 13) evening. Three other people went there the next day during the day and two more at night. The soldiers were looked after by paramilitary groups Assam Riflesin the responsibility for border protection in northeastern India, then flown from Champhai district to Moreh, a border town of Manipur, from where they were returned to Burma in the town of Tamu.
The State Department official added: “That the current situation is calm and we expect things to return to normal along the Indo-Myanmar border in the next two to three days. At the same time, it is difficult to predict the future.”
Mizoram: home to many refugees
The state of Mizoram almost shares 510 km long border with the Burmese and Mizos (residents of the state) sharing ethnic ties with the Chin community.
Since the February 2021 coup, more than 31,000 people were displaced in the states of India Mizoram, including more than 40 members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Parliament and Legislative Council in Myanmar. The NLD is led by Aung San Suu Kyi, winner Nobel Peace Prize and a figure of nonviolent opposition to the Burmese military dictatorship.
The refugees were welcomed by churches and NGOs and assisted by the state government. Chief Minister of Mizoram, Pu Zoramthanga, even defying the Centre’s directive to expel the refugees, saying so share link ethnicity with Mizos. In May 2022, he even offered it temporary identity card.
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