UCA News
Contribute

Myanmar

Thousands of ethnic Chin cross Myanmar border into India

Diaspora calls for UN aid following Jan. 7 massacre as ceasefire shattered

Thousands of ethnic Chin cross Myanmar border into India

Refugees collect water at Pang village in India's eastern state of Mizoram near the Myanmar border in September 2021 after people fled across the border following attacks by Myanmar's military on villages in Chin state. (Photo: AFP)

Published: January 24, 2022 05:44 AM GMT

Updated: January 24, 2022 05:52 AM GMT

Ethnic Chin from the Myanmar diaspora are urging the United Nations to launch a humanitarian relief operation after thousands of Chin people began fleeing their home state for India in response to the massacre of 10 people this month.

A coalition of NGOs said several thousand people had been displaced and were moving across India’s northeast border and into Mizoram state.

“More than 1,000 Chin people have left their villages and relocated to Lunglei district in Mizoram. Others are on the move and more arrivals are expected in the coming weeks,” they said.

The coalition includes the New Zealand-Myanmar Ethnics Council, Global Action for Myanmar Peace & Federal Democracy, Chin Humanitarian Aid International and the Steering Committee for Myanmar, Lunglei District.

They said the exodus began after people from Matupi in western Myanmar reported that 10 Chin people were attacked and murdered by Myanmar armed forces while traveling between villages on Jan. 7.

The massacre took place as the leader of Myanmar’s junta, General Min Aung Hlaing, was meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen as chair of ASEAN and then announced an extension to a ceasefire with ethnic minorities.

Since this incident, the military junta soldiers have been going house to house in Matupi, especially at night, arresting people and murdering them on suspicion of political activities

That ceasefire was supposed to reinvigorate the Five-Point Consensus designed to bring Myanmar back into the ASEAN fold but appears to have been shattered by the military, which seized power from an elected government on Feb. 1 last year.

“The dead included a 13-year-old boy, La Nang. According to eyewitnesses, the bodies were cut to pieces and thrown at the side of the road,” the NGOs said.

“Since this incident, the military junta soldiers have been going house to house in Matupi, especially at night, arresting people and murdering them on suspicion of political activities. People are living in fear.

“The majority of people have now left Matupi township. Some villages, such as Ngalaeng village, are entirely deserted now.”

More than 1,400 people have perished in post-coup violence. Former leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been jailed for at least four years alongside her former ministers, and former lawmaker Phyo Zeyar Thaw has been sentenced to death for offenses under the counterterrorism law.

About 60,000 Chin people are living in India, while more than 20,000 Chin refugees are in Malaysia. Several thousand Chin have resettled in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

“There are many more people who need transport to safety as well as basic resources once they arrive [in India]. People are coming with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” the coalition said.

“They are sleeping on the ground in cold temperatures, with limited bedding and food. This is an urgent situation and it’s critical that they cross the border now. This is a global humanitarian issue.”

comment

Share your comments

Latest News

donateads_new
newlettersign

Read articles from La Croix International

UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia