GUWAHATI: The 338 Myanmar nationals, who had crossed over to Mizoram last week after being driven out by the militants of Arakan Army in that country, have been repatriated.
The refugees, mostly women and children, were taking refuge in Lungpuk and Khaikhy villages of southern Mizoram to evade alleged atrocities from the Arakan Army. The insurgents had held back the male members.
Earlier, the refugees had revealed that they were residents of Ralie village in the Chin State of Myanmar. They said they were threatened and pushed out of their homes by the Arakan Army.
The Assam Rifles said due to its persistent efforts and that of the civil administration, the refugees could be safely repatriated.
“The refugees were repatriated on May 24. The village council president of Ralie village himself had come from Myanmar to receive and take back the villagers. The villagers who came from Myanmar to receive the refugees disclosed that militants of the Arakan Army had moved away to an undisclosed location inside Myanmar and the village is now completely safe for the refugees to return to their home,” defence spokesman Lt Col Suneet Newton told The New Indian Express.
“To ensure the safety of the refugees, they were escorted by troops of the Assam Rifles up to the international border,” he added.
Myanmar has over 20 insurgent outfits. A dozen of them are lying low following their signing of ceasefire agreements with the government there two years back. The Arakan Army was founded in 2009 and it is fighting to “protect the Arakan people and establish peace, justice, freedom and development”.