Mizoram Seeing Fresh Influx Of Myanmar Refugees, NGOs Call on UN Help

Myanmar Civilians eating beside a bunker
( Myanmar Poverty relief Fb page)

- Ruata Lungchuang 

As the ongoing Myanmar Coup induced refugee crisis in Mizoram continues, ethnic Chin Burmese diaspora and Mizoram NGOs are urging the United Nation to launch a relief effort in India's Northeastern State of  Mizoram which has accommodated thousands of ethnic Chin refugees into the state ever since the Military takeover of Myanmar on February 2021, Mizoram borders the Burmese Chin State. The coalition of communities and NGOs includes the New Zealand-Myanmar Ethnics Council, Global Action for Myanmar Peace & Federal Democracy, Chin Humanitarian Aid International and the Steering Committee for Myanmar, Lunglei District Mizoram.

The move came in the wake of a fresh exodus of people from Matupi Township following the killings of 10 ethnic Chin who were moving between villages on 7th January 2022. According to a report by the group, as many as 1000 people have fled and have arrived in Lunglei District of Mizoram and more are expected to arrive. The report also further states that  Myanmar Armed Forces have been going house to house in Matupi at night, arresting and killing civilians on suspicion of political activities. 

It is important to note that the massacre took place as the leader of Myanmar's Junta, General Aung Min Hlaing was meeting Cambodian 
 Prime Minister Hun Sen as chair of ASEAN and then announced an extension to a ceasefire with ethnic minorities. The ceasefire was supposed to end the ongoing conflict in Myanmar and bring back Myanmar into the ASEAN fold. 

Though the international community have paid little attention to the ongoing refugee crisis of Mizoram, the state has been dealing with a large influx of refugees from neighbouring Burmese Chin State ever since the Military Coup of Myanmar on Jan 1 2021. Among the asylum seekers include Myanmar's parliament members as well as politicians from Chin State. With India not being a signatory of any Refugee convention, the task and responsibility of rehabilitating the refugees fall on the hands of civil societies and communities in the State. The Indian States bordering Myanmar including Manipur has also seen an influx of refugees into their state, but refugees in Manipur are either detained or sent back. In Mizoram however, civil societies and the communities are doing everything they can to help the refugees despite the economic and pandemic challenges Mizoram is tasked with at the moment.

The Chins are part of what is popularly called the global Zo ethnic group which Mizos are also a part of. Being ethnic kins to the Mizos, the Mizos consider it their responsibility to look after  Chin refugees arriving from Myanmar. However, as more refugees cross into Mizoram each day, resources are becoming strained, the living condition of Burmese refugees cannot be upgraded owing to no humanitarian aid arriving in Mizoram. For now, Burmese Chin refugees are rehabilitated in Bamboo huts constructed by NGOs and local communities in Mizoram who also supply rations to them. Unless a swift Humanitarian aid is delivered to Mizoram, there is a great risk of these makeshift refugee camps becoming a hotspot for Covid-19 transmission while the possibility of the camps becoming a breeding ground for Cholera and Malaria is ever-present as Mizoram awaits the Monsoon season. 

The Mizos

The Mizos is a one-man team news blog, that brings you news and stories from Mizoram, Northeast India and the rest of the World.

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