1,430 Myanmarese nationals took shelter in Mizoram in last 10 days

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Aizawl, May 25 (IANS) A total of 1,430 Myanmarese nationals took shelter in the northeastern state of Mizoram in the last 10 days amid fresh clashes in the neighbouring country between the army and 'pro-democratic forces', an official said on Saturday.

According to an official, at least 40 Myanmarese nationals including women and children crossed the India-Myanmar forested border on Friday and Saturday. They took shelter in Mizoram's Saitual and Champhai districts.

Villagers of the two districts are providing food and shelter to the refugees, sources said.

According to a Mizoram government official, the refugees, mostly belonging to Myanmar's Chin state, fled to different villages of Mizoram due to fear triggered by the armed clashes between 'Tatmadaw' (Myanmar military) and pro-democratic forces led by the Chin National Army.

Villagers claimed the migrants also feared air raids by the country's Air Force.

District officials, meanwhile, have been collecting the details of the Myanmarese nationals.

Meanwhile, opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) leader T.C. Pachhunga said that despite continuous demands, the Centre has not yet provided any assistance to the Mizoram government to provide relief to the refugees from Myanmar, Bangladesh and internally displaced people from Manipur.

Addressing a party meeting at the MNF office here, Pachhunga said the Central government, considering the humanitarian aspects, must provide financial and other support.

He said that the previous MNF government on several occasions had urged the Central government to provide funds to take care of the migrants from Myanmar, Bangladesh and Manipur.

As per the government records, the total number of refugees who entered Mizoram since February 2021 has risen to around 36,000.

Most refugees stay in rented accommodation and the homes of their relatives or friends, while others live in 149 relief camps across seven districts of the state.

The Myanmarese who took shelter in Mizoram are mostly from the Chin community, who share ethnic, cultural and traditional ties with the Mizos.

Six Mizoram districts -- Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Hnahthial, Serchhip and Saitual -- share a 510-km long unfenced border with Myanmar's Chin state.