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Zo community leader advocates for indigenous rights at UN, slams Indo-Myanmar fencing

Zo community leader advocates for indigenous rights at UN, slams Indo-Myanmar fencing

In an address at the United Nations, Lalnun Fella Changte, leader of the Zo Reunification Organisation (ZoRO) advocated for the rights of the Zo Indigenous Peoples spread across Myanmar, India and Bangladesh. Changte, representing the Zo people highlighted the challenges faced by ethnic Zo communities due to geopolitical divisions enforced during colonial times.

"The Zo peoples, scattered across borders imposed by colonial powers are unjustly divided and denied their fundamental rights," Changte stated, addressing the UN assembly. He pointed out ethnic clashes in Manipur where violence and displacement have plagued minority hill tribes forcing many to flee their homes.

Changte criticized India's plans to fence the Indo-Myanmar border, arguing it would further restrict the freedom of movement for Zo communities, already struggling with internal conflicts and displacement. 

He stated the urgent need for international support to address the worsening humanitarian crisis faced by Zo people, particularly those seeking refuge in Mizoram from neighboring Bangladesh amid escalating tensions in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

"Our people are under siege from multiple fronts—Bangladesh, Myanmar, Assam, and Manipur," Changte said demanding immediate humanitarian aid and the recognition of Zo people's right to self-determination.