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Fresh refugee influx in Mizoram from Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts

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Shillong, June 18: Around 30 more refugees comprising nine families took shelter in Mizoram from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of southeast Bangladesh during the last two days, officials said here on Tuesday.

 

Officials said that the new arrivals have been given refuge at Vathuampui Village in southern Mizoram’s Lawngtlai District.

 

According to officials, with the latest influx, the total number of Bangladeshi refugees taking shelter in Mizoram has risen to 1,901, comprising 505 women and 810 children.

 

Majority of the Bangladeshi refugees are sheltered in 12 camps, while some have been living with their relatives and friends.

 

The majority of these refugees belong to the Kuki-Chin community, primarily the Bawm and Pang tribes, who fled due to conflict between the Bangladesh army and the Kuki-Chin National Army (KNA), fighting for greater autonomy for tribals in the CHT.

 

After the ethnic trouble started in CHT, the tribals started taking shelter in Mizoram from November 2022.

 

In addition to Bangladeshis, around 34,000 refugees including 10,905 women and 12,844 children from Myanmar are now sheltered in all 11 districts of the border state.

 

The Myanmar refugees fled to Mizoram after the military coup in the neighbouring country on February 1, 2021, and the subsequent civil war.

 

Mizoram is also providing shelter to around 9,000 Kuki-Zomi-Hmar tribals who were displaced after the ethnic strife began in the neighbouring Manipur in May last year.

 

The Myanmar, Bangladeshi and Manipur refugees have close ethnic ties, traditional and cultural similarity with the Mizos of Mizoram.

 

All the refugees are now staying in relief camps and the houses of relatives and friends across Mizoram, which shares 518 km and 318 km unfenced borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh respectively. (IANS)

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