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Thousands Seek Refuge In Mizoram Following Airstrikes In Myanmar

11:19 AM Nov 16, 2023 IST | NEWS Desk
thousands seek refuge in mizoram following airstrikes in myanmar
Thousands Seek Refuge In Mizoram Following Airstrikes In Myanmar

Zokhawthar (Mizoram) [India]: Around 5000 Myanmar nationals are now taking shelter in the Zokhawthar area of Mizoram’s Champhai district as they fled from Myanmar and entered the Champhai district following a fresh airstrike by the Myanmar army in the bordering areas along the Indo-Myanmar border.

The district administration, NGOs, the Young Mizo Association, and the Village Council have provided food, clothes, and medicines to the Myanmar refugees who are now taking shelter in makeshift tents in the Zokhawthar area.

According to the leaders of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), Zokhawthar, there are around 4-5 relief and refugee camps in the area.
Zokhawthar is a village in Mizoram’s Champhai district, which shares its border with Myanmar.

There are around 160 families from Myanmar now residing in Lipui in the Zokhawthar area.
According to F Biaktinsanga, the Financial Secretary of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), a significant influx of people, estimated between 5,000 to 6,000, is there in India from Myanmar. These individuals are being supported by various NGOs and the district administration, which provide essential items such as food and clothing.

‘5000 people or 6,000 people are coming to India. Here, some NGO organisations provide food and clothing. The district administration and minister are also helping the Myanmar people with what they need. Here, they are living very peacefully. We care about them and whatever problem they have, we get help from the Young Mizo Association (YMA).

We just go and help them if they have problems. Many children are here, and some women are also here. We provide Daal, cerelac and milk for the children and some vitamins. We also provide diapers and clothes for children because they didn’t take anything with them when they fled their country. They do not have anything like blankets or mattress, so we provide them,’ F. Biaktinsanga, YMA Zokhawthar Financial Secretary, told media.

Mal Sawm Par, a national from Myanmar, shared his experience with ANI about the hardships faced after fleeing his home country. He arrived in Zokhawthar about two years ago, leaving behind a village that was burned down and bringing nothing with him.
Despite the challenges, he found support from the local community who provided him with food, clothing, and medical care.

‘We came here about 2 years ago and then we didn’t bring anything and our village was burned. In Zokhawthar, some people give us clothes and food. Now we have nothing so we cannot go back. It is also very difficult to go back so we have to stay here. How long we stay here, we also don’t know; nobody knows. The people here are good to us. All the people help us so much and give us what we need. When we get sick, they give us a doctor. The medicine is free for us,’ Mal Sawm Par, a Myanmar national, told media.

In a recent development along the Myanmar border, the People’s Defence Force (PDF) of Myanmar attacked and captured two Myanmar Army posts. This led to 39 Myanmar Army personnel seeking refuge in Mizoram and subsequently surrendering to the Mizoram Police.

The total number of Myanmar Army personnel who have surrendered so far stands at 42. More than 5000 people have taken refuge in two border villages, Mizoram Inspector-General of Police (IGP) (Headquarters), Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said on Tuesday.

‘On Sunday evening, PDF of Myanmar attacked the Myanmar Army post along the Myanmar border. Yesterday evening, two Myanmar posts were captured by the PDF. As a result, the Myanmar Army started taking shelter in Mizoram.

39 of them surrendered to Mizoram Police last evening…We handed them over to both our governing force…The total number of Myanmar Army personnel who surrendered before Mizoram Police is 42…More than 5000 people took refuge in two villages along the border and we also got about 20 civilian injuries – 8 of them are taken to Aizawl for better medical treatment…One succumbed to his stray bullet injuries last evening…Since last night there has been no more commotion at the border…Now it is quite calm but we don’t know whether Myanmar Army will attack from the air.

We can’t rule out airstrike at present…’ Mizoram Inspector-general of police (IGP) (Headquarters), Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said on Tuesday. 

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