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Over 100 Myanmar nationals enter Mizoram after military offensive across border

Source : Hindustan Times

Over 100 Myanmar nationals enter Mizoram after military offensive across border
Since March this year, thousands of Myanmar nationals, especially those residing close to the border with India, have entered Mizoram. (AFP Photo/Representative use)



Over 100 Myanmar nationals have entered two districts of Mizoram in the past few days following a military offensive across the border, the state government said. “I have heard that hundreds of people from Myanmar have entered Mizoram in the past few days. But I don’t have the exact figure of how many as I am under quarantine at present,” Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana said.

According to news reports “intense fighting” has broken out between armed civilians opposed to the military rule in Myanmar and the neighbouring nation’s army in the past few days near the border with Mizoram. The fresh influx is believed to comprise Myanmarese nationals trying to flee the violence.

Since March this year, thousands of Myanmar nationals, especially those residing close to the border with India, have entered Mizoram. According to official figures, over 10,000 of them are residing in the northeastern state at present.

“There has been a fresh influx of Myanmar nationals into Mizoram in recent days due to fighting just across the border. These people have entered Champhai and Hnahthial districts. I believe they will return as soon as the situation across the border improves,” Mizoram chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said.

Mizoram and Myanmar share a 510 km border. Most of the refugees who have entered Mizoram are from the Chin state of Myanmar, which borders six districts of the state—Champhai, Hnahthial, Serchhip, Saitual, Siaha and Lawngtlai. Mizos and Chins share close ethnic ties.

“Since the past few days several groups of people in small batches have entered our district through various border points. We don’t have the exact figure of the influx in recent days. At present the district has around 730 people who came in during the past few months. They are being accommodated by village elders in 6-7 villages,” said Saizikpuii, additional deputy commissioner Hnahthial.

“On Wednesday, 35 Myanmar nationals, most of them old and infirm women and small children, entered our district. Local NGOs have accommodated them in temporary shelters built away from Zawlsei village,” Maria CT Zuali, deputy commissioner of Champhai said.

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