With influx of 50 more refugees, 34,332 people from Myanmar sheltered in Mizoram

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Aizawl, May 6 (IANS) With around 50 more refugees coming to Mizoram from Myanmar, as many as 34,332 Myanmarese have taken shelter in the northeastern state so far, officials said on Monday.

A Mizoram government official said that around 50 Myanmarese, including 10 women, fled Paletwa in the neighbouring country’s Chin region and entered Hruitezawl village in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district during the past few days to evade recruitment in the Arakan Army (AA) militant group.

Based out of Rakhine in Myanmar, the Arakan Army is the largest armed ethnic outfit in the country, which is recruiting people from the Chin region to intensify their battle against the Army.

“Young people in Myanmar who refuse to be forcibly recruited in the Arakan Army are fleeing to Mizoram,” the official said.

Before the latest influx of refugees, 34,282 Myanmar migrants took shelter in Mizoram’s 11 districts in phases after the military junta seized power in the neighboring country on February 1, 2021.

At present, a total of 34,332 Myanmar nationals, including 10,900 women and 13,310 children, are living in the relief camps in Mizoram, while some are staying with their relatives or in rented accommodations.

Besides the Myanmar nationals, around 10,000 men, women and children have also taken shelter in Mizoram after the ethnic violence broke out in neighbouring Manipur in May last year. Also, 1,167 persons from the Chittagong Hill tracts in Bangladesh have taken shelter in Mizoram since 2022.

The Kuki-Zomi-Chin tribes in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Manipur share ethnic ties, and cultural and linguistic similarities with the Mizo people.