Aizawl: People from Myanmar’s Chin state continue to trickle into Mizoram following renewed clashes between the army of the neighbouring country and the Chin National Defence Force (CNDF), police said.
The CNDF is an armed group fighting against the Myanmar military. Zokhawthar village council president Lalmuanpuia told PTI that the Myanmar army carried out offensive operations against members of CNDF who were camping at an immigration check post near Tuivai bridge around 4 am on Saturday.
Zokhawthar and Khawmawi are separated by the Tuivai river which runs along the Indo-Myanmar border. Lalmuanpuia claimed almost the entire village of Khawmawi, which has a population of about 6,000, have already fled to Zokhawthar. Over 10,000 Myanmar nationals are now taking shelter in Zokhawthar, he said.
According to government records, as many as 26,663 Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram following the military coup in the neighbouring country in February last year. The northeastern state shares a 510 km long international border with Myanmar.
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Six districts of the north-eastern state -Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual- share a border with Myanmar. Of the 22,098 displaced Myanmar nationals who have taken refuge in the six districts following the military coup in the trouble-torn country, Champhai has the highest number of 7,810 followed by the Siaha district at 6,614, the records said.
People of Myanmar who have fled to the state are spread across all 11 districts. A large section of the people of Myanmar who have taken refuge in the state belongs to the Chin, also known as the Zo, community. They share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram. Chin is also a state in western Myanmar.