Peace talks held between KNF and Peace Committee in Bandarban

In a bid to restore peace and stability in the hilly areas, the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) engaged in its second face-to-face meeting with the Shanti Pratishtha Committee (Peace Establishment Committee) on Tuesday. The talks, held at a community center in Ruma Upazila, Bandarban district, aimed to address the ongoing conflict in the region.

Led by Bandarban Zila Parishad Chairman and Peace Establishment Committee convener Kyaw Shwe Hla and KNF general secretary Laljongmoy Bawm, or brigadier Muiya, the meeting commenced at 11:00 am and lasted for two hours. Both sides conversed in a cordial atmosphere, with commitments made to implement some of KNF’s demands, while others will be forwarded to the government for consideration.

According to sources, KNF expressed optimism regarding the outcome of the discussions, viewing them as a step towards constructive engagement. The Peace Establishment Committee, formed in May last year, seeks to facilitate the return of KNF members to civilian life. Under its framework, KNF agreed to refrain from violence during the peace process and collaborate with law enforcement agencies. Additionally, proposals for the welfare of the Kuki population, covering education, health, food, and employment, will be earnestly considered.

However, the conflict’s toll has led to a significant displacement of people, with at least 548 individuals from 132 families seeking refuge in Mizoram since November 2022. The situation remains volatile, with further displacements reported, including 140 Marma individuals from Mulpi Para and 220 people from Barathli 4 Union seeking shelter in Ruma Sadar and other areas.

Mizoram stands firm in aid to 42,000 refugees

Meanwhile, the Mizoram government has reiterated its commitment to assisting over 42,000 individuals from Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Manipur who have sought refuge in the state. Mizoram Home Minister K Sapdanga affirmed this stance in the state assembly, highlighting the challenges posed by fluctuating refugee numbers.

The influx of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh began following the political unrest in 2021 and intensified military operations in 2022, respectively. Additionally, the ethnic violence in Manipur prompted the Kuki-Zo community to seek sanctuary in Mizoram, fostering a complex humanitarian situation in the region.

Despite these challenges, Mizoram’s government vows to continue providing relief to asylum seekers and internally displaced persons on humanitarian grounds, utilising available resources to address their needs.

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