Asian Entreè Mizoram Northeast

Fresh influx of refugees from Myanmar to Mizoram cross 11,000

The number of refugees, taking shelter in Mizoram from Myanmar has gone up to 11,000. The people have left their country and fled towards Mizoram after their country was hit by a coup.

District administrations and police officials in Mizoram said that around 150 to 160 people, including women and children, took shelter in Mizoram’s Champhai, Lawngtlai and Hnahthial districts bordering Myanmar during the past few days.

Talking to media persons, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana said that if the attacks and counter-attacks by the Myanmar military and the opposition forces continue, more people are likely to come into Mizoram for shelter.

It might be noted that most of the refugees from Myanmar have been provided makeshift shelters by various local NGOs, including the Young Mizo Association which also provided them food, medicines, and other basic necessities on humanitarian grounds, while several others are living with their relatives.

The officials said that the district administrations are unable to help the immigrants formally as they are yet to be granted refugee status by the government or international agencies.

According to reports, the fresh refugee influx occurred in Mizoram as the Burmese government-in-exile, the National Unity Government (NUG), called for a countrywide uprising earlier this week and clashed with the military soldiers who undertook massive operations against the resistance forces.

The Indian villagers staying in the border area can hear the sounds of fierce gunfights and bursting shells and other firearms between the cadres of anti-coup NUG and the Myanmar army.

According to the officials of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), which maintains the data of Myanmarese refugees, around 11,000 refugees, including about 20 legislators, have taken shelter in Mizoram’s 11 districts since March this year.

The Champhai district along the India-Myanmar border is currently sheltering 4,550 refugees, the highest, followed by Aizawl district where 1,700 refugees have taken shelter.
Mizoram shares a 510km long international border with Myanmar and is already sheltering thousands who fled Myanmar including many politicians, Chief Ministers, and VIPs apart from its citizens. Lalchamlian the Home Minister of Mizoram has informed the house about the presence of 10,229 refugees from Myanmar till August 28.

A majority of those who have taken shelter in the bordering state belong to the Chin community, also known as the Zo community, who share the same ancestry, ethnicity and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram.

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