AIZAWL: Twenty-nine Myanmarese soldiers, who sought refuge in Mizoram after intense clashes with the Chin National Defence Force (CNDF), a local militia group affiliated with the People’s Defence Force (PDF), have been repatriated to Myanmar.
This marks the return of a total of 74 Myanmar army personnel who crossed into India as their camps faced the brunt of militia groups during recent gunfights.
The soldiers had entered Mizoram on November 16 after their camp at Tuibual in Myanmar’s Chin state, near the international border, was overrun by the CNDF.
Swift action was taken to repatriate them by airlifting the soldiers to Moreh in Manipur. From Moreh, they were transported to Tamu, the nearest Myanmarese town, according to an official statement.
The repatriation process was prolonged due to incessant rains, disrupting the scheduled return.
The Myanmarese soldiers had entered Saikhumphai in Mizoram’s Champhai district, near the Tiau river, which serves as the natural boundary between India and Myanmar.
Upon arrival, they were received by the Assam Rifles and state police, remaining in their custody until the repatriation process was finalised.
This follows the earlier repatriation of 45 Myanmar soldiers who had sought refuge in Mizoram after their camps were overrun by the PDF.
Officials confirmed that the situation along the India-Myanmar border has remained peaceful, with no reported clashes since November 15.
The ongoing unrest in Myanmar has prompted around 5,000 civilians to seek refuge in Mizoram.
While the majority of them have already returned to Myanmar, the state continues to provide shelter to those in need.
Mizoram shares a 510-km-long porous border with Myanmar, making it a crucial area for those fleeing the unrest.
Mizoram has been a haven for over 31,000 people from Myanmar, particularly from the Chin community, who sought refuge following the military coup in February 2021.
The Chins and Mizos share an ethnic connection as part of the Zo ethnic group.