Security Issues

Kuki-Chin Refugees Problem

As another round of refugee crisis erupts on the Mizoram-Bangladesh border, the Border Security Force “pushed back” several members of the Kuki-Chin community (BSF).

Who are the Kuki Chins?

  • The Chins of Myanmar, the Mizos of Mizoram, and the Kukis of Bangladesh are of the same ancestry and belong to the Kuki ethnic group native to the Mizo hills.
  • They are referred to as the Zo people.
  • The Kuki Chin people live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh’s only large hill area located in the country’s southeast.
  • It is bounded on the southeast by Myanmar, on the north by Tripura, on the east by Mizoram, and on the west by the Chittagong district.
  • Mizoram and Bangladesh share a 318-kilometer international border.

What is the reason for their flight to Mizoram?

  • Since 2021, approximately 30,000 Kuki Chin refugees from Myanmar have sought refuge in Mizoram.
  • They have been fleeing the military junta’s crackdown in Myanmar and the identity crisis in Bangladesh.

The origins of their insurgency

  • Kuki militancy stems from ethnic identity conflicts.
  • The first was the demand for self-determination solely for ethnic groups, implying the desire to form a Kukiland.
  • The second cause of insurgency in Manipur is an intercommunal conflict between the Kukis and the Nagas.
  • The Kuki-Naga conflict arose from a desire to protect one’s identity and land, as some Kuki-inhabited areas overlapped with Naga-inhabited areas.
  • Wanting to dominate trade and cultural activities in those areas, the two communities frequently engaged in violent standoffs, torching villages and killing civilians.

What is India’s Position?

  • The authorities are ready to deal with the influx.
  • On humanitarian grounds, India will provide assistance and shelter to refugees arriving from Bangladesh.
  • The Mizoram Cabinet decided to provide refugees who have already crossed over with temporary shelter, food, and medicine.
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