More than 1,200 civilians from western Chin State have fled to neighbouring India as clashes renewed in Paletwa between Burmese government forces and the Arakan Army (AA), according to Indian media reports.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported this weekend that the displaced villagers are currently being sheltered in the Mizoram district of Lawngtlai.
“The people who crossed over on Friday are mostly Buddhists and Christians and speak the same tribal language as the locals,” PTI reported.
The news report cited a local official saying that this marks the fourth time in recent months that families have streamed across the border due to fighting between the AA and the Tatmadaw [Burmese army].
Salai Lian Luai, the chief minister of Chin State, told DVB that he had been told about the villagers’ flight, but could not confirm it.
“I have not received confirmed reports,” he said. “The area in question is very remote. Transport is difficult. And as they cannot access the region freely, the local administrators cannot report back to us yet.”
Hostilities between the AA and the Tatmadaw were revived in late October after a prolonged period of détente. Both sides engaged in sporadic clashes throughout 2016.