Mizoram govt, Assam Rifles fail to deport 219 Myanmar refugees; MEA says neighbouring country 'failed to convince them to return'

Aizawl: Mizoram government and the Assam Rifles authorities on Tuesday failed to deport 219 Myanmar refugees from Lawngtlai district to the neighbouring country, Home department officials said. The officials said the refugees staying in Hmawngbuchhuah village were proposed to be deported on Tuesday but reports from the Ministry of External Affairs said that Myanmar authorities failed to send people to persuade the refugees to return to their country.

 Mizoram govt, Assam Rifles fail to deport 219 Myanmar refugees; MEA says neighbouring country failed to convince them to return

Representational image. AP

Earlier an attempt was made to deport the refugees in the presence of Lawngtlai district administration, police, Assam Rifles and an NGO failed on 15 June due to 'inclement weather' and 'humanitarian' reasons, the officials said.

Over 1,700 refugees from Paletwa and surrounding villages in Myanmar fled the country during the latter part of November in 2017 and entered Mizoram and took shelter in four villages in Lawngtlai district along with the Myanmar border areas due to armed conflict between the Myanmar Army and the Arakan Army (AA) militants.

While the majority of the refugees have returned to their homeland after the Myanmar Army sanitized the area, some of them refused to go back and settled down by constructing houses and taking up a livelihood.

The remaining refugees claimed that though their villages were now peaceful, it would be difficult for them to begin means of life support to feed their families.

The refugees mainly belonged to the Rakhine community and the local populace called them 'Zakhai'.

Updated Date: Jun 25, 2019 18:43:14 IST