Fresh fighting in Myanmar: Over 5000 refugees enter Mizoram
First Published: 13th November, 2023 20:51 IST
The fresh influx comes after Myanmar Army bombed People’s Democratic Front bases at Khawmawi town in the Chin state of Myanmar
Fresh fighting in Myanmar has once again triggered the flow of refugees into Mizoram. Such alarming is the situation that around 5000 refugees have crossed over to Zokhawthar village in the state’s Champhai district in the last 48 hours.
Moreover, among those who have crossed over are 20 injured people who were rushed to the district hospital Champhai. Eight of them have been taken to Aizawl for further treatment.
Meanwhile, as per sources, the Assam Rifles has deployed additional columns along the Myanmar border in the wake of the situation.
The fresh influx comes after Myanmar Army bombed People’s Democratic Front bases at Khawmawi town in the Chin state of Myanmar yesterday.
As per reports, Myanmar Army jets dropped 2 rounds of bombs at a village in Khawmawi, which is just across Zokhawthar village on the Indian side of the border.
Gunfight is still going on close to the India-Myanmar border and residents of Zokhawthar village have been advised to stay indoors. The gunfight between the junta’s army and the PDF which is the armed wing of Myanmar’s National Unity Government, has led to hundreds of refugees fleeing to border villages of Mizoram.
The Assam Rifles, meanwhile, is closely monitoring the situation.
Myanmar government’s version was not immediately available.
A heavily armed rebel alliance in Myanmar, fighting the military junta, has achieved a huge success when it captured a strategic town on the Chinese border, disrupting trade between the two neighbours. Observers describe the capture of the trade hub of Chin-shwe-haw, which borders China’s Yunnan province, as the biggest challenge Myanmar’s military junta has faced since overthrowing the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.
The situation is so grave that Myanmar’s President Myint Swe said earlier this month that the gains achieved by the ethnic rebel alliance along the border with China has the potential to break the nation. On Friday, the United Nations said an estimated 50,000 people could have been displaced by the latest round of fighting that began two weeks ago. “As of 9 November, almost 50,000 people in northern Shan were forced into displacement,” the UN update stated.
Chin-shwe-haw, currently under rebel control, accounts for more than two-fifths of the 5.32 billion dollar worth of border trade between Myanmar and China between April and November this year, Myanmar commerce ministry estimates say.
If the Three Brotherhood Alliance is challenging the Myanmar military big time in the Northern Shan state leading to the displacement of half a million people, a further 40,000 people have been displaced by clashes between the junta and its opponents in neighbouring Sagaing region and Kachin state since early November, an UN agency said.
The impact of this fighting between the military junta and the rebel alliance as well as civilian armies that have sprung up like the People’s Defence Force have been felt in India’s Northeast. In Mizoram, there are already an estimated 40,000 refugees from Myanmar. During the last 48 hours, around 700-800 Myanmar refugees have entered Mizoram in what is seen as a fresh round of influx following the intensification of the fighting in Myanmar. The Northeast Indian states of Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh shares more than 1600 long border with Myanmar of which Mizoram, where the bulk of the refugees are taking shelter, shares a 510 km long border.
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