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Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), the second-largest student body in Mizoram on Friday, said it has welcomed the Zo ethnic population of Myanmar, who are affected by the military coup in the restive country, to seek refuge in Mizoram.

The student body’s declaration came in the wake of a Myanmar-based armed group seeking asylum for their family members in Mizoram.

A statement issued by the students’ body said that if the Zo ethnic population of Myanmar need asylum and shelter because of civil unrest in that country, they are always welcome to seek one here in Mizoram.

“The MSU is open to support and aid anyone always in any way as and when necessary,” the statement said.

The student body also urged the Mizoram government to play a proactive role in supporting and providing whatever is necessary to the refugees from Myanmar.

Recently, the Chin National Army (CNA), the armed wing of Chin National Front (CNF), a group fighting for a federal union based on self-determination, ethnic equality and democracy in Myanmar, sought refuge in Mizoram for their family members.

Maria CT Zulia, the deputy commissioner of Champhai district, which shares a border with Myanmar had said that the CNA has sought asylum for 40 families in Mizoram.

The armed group contacted the village council president of Farkawn village who later informed the district administration, she had said.

Mizoram’s shares a 404 km porous international border with Myanmar and the Zo ethnic people are mainly concentrated in Chin state bordering Mizoram.

Champhai district administration had also earlier sounded alert against the influx of refugees from Myanmar as the military has taken power in the neighbouring country.

A notification issued by the deputy commissioner of Champhai district had instructed all villages to inform the district administration if Myanmarese refugees enter their villages.

Mizoram is already home to thousands of Chin communities of Myanmar, a Mizo group that share the same ancestry with the Mizos of Mizoram.

The Chin communities have migrated to Mizoram since the late 1980s fleeing military junta in Myanmar.

Though some of them have returned to their country after democracy was restored, thousands of them are still living in Mizoram.

Officials of the state home department said that no report of Myanmar refugees entering Mizoram has been received till date.

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