2,000 Myanmar refugees pour into Mizoram amid fresh border violence

Aizawl, Mar 7, 2022 (TNN): Over 2,000 refugees from Myanmar's Chin State have arrived at the Mizoram-Myanmar border trade centre village of Zokhawthar since early Saturday following armed confrontation between the militant group, Chin National Army (CNA), and a number of local Chin resistance groups combined with the Myanmar army.

Village leaders in Zokhawthar said while the majority of the refugees stayed with their relatives and friends, over 500 of them were being lodged in three godowns of the border trade centre.

The local Young Mizo Association (YMA) volunteers provided food and other assistance to the refugees who have been lodged in the warehouses.
They said the whole population of Khawmawi, around 1,200, abandoned the village and fled to Zokhawthar and nearby villages while a large number of inhabitants of Haimual and Rihkhawdar also crossed the border river Tiau to take shelter in Zokhawthar.

As of Sunday, Zokhawthar village alone hosted around 5,000 refugees who fled Myanmar because of the armed clashes in Chin State as the village lies just across river Tiau.

On Sunday morning around 9 am, nearly 20 Myanmar soldiers marched through the deserted streets of Khawmawi village in Myanmar, firing guns where they killed an abandoned dog which barked at them, a village leader of Zokhawthar said.

The combined force of the CNA-led People'' Defense Force (PDF) - Zoland, Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) - Siyin, Chin National Defense Force (CNDF) and Chinland Defense Force (CDF) - Hualngo launched the attacks on the Myanmar army camp, near Haimual village cemetery, about 3 km from Khawmawi village on Saturday morning around 4.30 am (IST).

The firing lasted for over an hour and the CDF spokesman claimed that the Myanmar army lost 9 soldiers while there was no casualty on their side.

Reinforcement of military personnel at Rihkhawdar army camp and nearby Haimual/Khawmawi area near the Mizoram border since February 27 where they forcibly confiscated some private houses, provoked the attacks, CNA sources said.

With more and more people fleeing Chin state, Mizoram state now has over 30,000 refugees, according to the estimates of the local aid agencies.

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