India urges peace amid Myanmar fighting near Mizoram border

India urges peace amid Myanmar fighting near Mizoram border

Following recent violent incidents at the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, the Indian government has called for peace and restraint.

India urges peace amid Myanmar fighting near Mizoram border India urges peace amid Myanmar fighting near Mizoram border

India has expressed deep concern over the escalating conflict between Myanmar's anti-junta groups and government forces, which has spilled over near the border with Mizoram. The unrest has led to Myanmar nationals seeking refuge in India, particularly in Mizoram, prompting India to call for an immediate cessation of violence and the initiation of a constructive dialogue.

An aggressive offensive by anti-junta forces has witnessed the capture of key towns, military bases, and trade routes along the border with Mizoram. Notably, Rihkhawdar, home to a crucial land border crossing point, is among the areas now under the control of resistance fighters.

Addressing the media on the recent developments, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for India's Ministry of External Affairs, reiterated India's appeal for the restoration of peace, stability, and democracy in Myanmar. "We are deeply concerned with such incidents close to our border," he stated, referencing the movement of Myanmar nationals to the Indian side, specifically in the Rihkhawdar area of Chin State.

The recent clash resulted in the takeover of two military camps at Rihkhawdar by resistance fighters, leading to approximately 5,000 Myanmar nationals, including over 40 soldiers, seeking shelter in Mizoram. The soldiers were subsequently repatriated by the Indian authorities.

Fresh reports on November 16 indicated that an additional 29 Myanmar soldiers had entered India to escape an attack on their base by resistance fighters. The United Nations estimates that the intensified fighting since last month has displaced around 90,000 people.

India's position on the Myanmar situation is explicit, as Bagchi emphasized: "We want cessation of the violence and resolution of the situation through constructive dialogue." He acknowledged the longstanding refuge of Myanmar citizens in India due to the conflict, with local authorities handling the humanitarian situation appropriately.

Despite reports suggesting tens of thousands seeking refuge in India's northeastern region, primarily Mizoram, Bagchi did not provide specific numbers. He clarified India's engagement with Myanmar, denying allegations of supporting the junta, stating, "Whatever actions we take are in the light of our interests."

Members of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), an advisory body to Myanmar's government-in-exile, have urged India to sever ties with the State Administration Council (SAC), the ruling body since the 2021 coup. Instead, they call for engagement with ethnic resistance organizations, representing the voice of the people of Myanmar.

Edited By: Bikash Chetry
Published On: Nov 16, 2023