In a significant development, the Zo ethnic tribes belonging to the Kuki-Zomi-Mizo-Hmar community in Manipur have agreed to come under one umbrella - Zo United.
This comes after representatives from all different tribe-based groups from Manipur's Kuki-Zomi-Hmar-Mizo communities reached the decision on September 7.
Mizoram's NGO Coordination Committee hosted a meeting of the various ethnic Mizo tribe-based groups on Wednesday in the hall of the central committee of the Young Mizo Association (YMA) in the southern portion of Aizawl City.
According to one of the leaders, there have been significant demands for a stronger united front to protect the tribal territories from alleged militant outfits against the minority ethnic Mizos.
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The formation of 'Zo United' was made to improve the unity and cooperation of all ethnic Mizo groups and associations.
The new body will pick its leaders before September 20 and will be represented by one leader from each tribe and sub-tribe Inpi/Inpui (apex body), as well as the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF), the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), and the Hill Tribal Council (HTC).
'20 United' is not the name of a single ethnic Mizo tribe but of an organisation founded to improve tribal unity and cooperation.
The near-defunct Coordination Committee on Separate Administration Manipur (CORSAM) and Joint Inpi Council (JIC) were also abolished with immediate effect.
The conference was attended by 16 Manipur hill tribal groups, six Manipur tribal MPs, including two state ministers, and representatives of the Mizoram NGOCC.
According to one of the leaders present, people of Pallel, a Kuki-Zomi-Hmar hamlet in Manipur's Tengnoupal district, took sanctuary within a BSF camp on Friday after being allegedly assaulted by 'radicalised groups'.
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