Jul 16, 2008 (DVB), Manipuri separatist rebels have been committing human rights abuses against local Zomi ethnic people in northern Chin state’s Ton Zan district, the Zomi Human Rights Foundation has claimed.
The group said the rebels, from Manipur in India, had about three military outposts in Ton Zan district and had been given permission to move freely around the border area controlled by the SPDC’s Light Infantry Battalion 269 and 226.
Min Htan Nga, the coordinator of ZHRF, said the Burmese authorities were doing nothing to control the rebels.
"The rebels are completely dominating the border area , they move around openly in Ton Zan and Kyi Kha townships carrying 9mm pistols and the police and the local government administrations do not complain about it at all," Min Htan Nga said.
He said the rebels had assisted local SPDC troops in providing security for prime minister general Thein Sein's visit to Kyi Kha on 4 February this year.
Min Htan Nga said the rebels’ behaviour towards the Zomi people had been exactly the same as that of the government troops.
"The rebels set up a base located 20 miles from the government troops’ Kyi Kha outpost," Min Htan Nga said.
"They have been forcing local villagers to work as porters for them," he said.
"The locals are really afraid of them and a lot of them have been moving to Tamu and Nam Fah Lon township."
In early 2005, Manipuri rebels under the Burmese military’s command reportedly abducted two Burmese exile student activists from the Indian border town of Moreh.
Reporting by Khin Maung Soe Min