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HomeLatest NewsTwo factions of Chin resistance fight for control of Matupi

Two factions of Chin resistance fight for control of Matupi

All roads leading into southern Chinland’s Matupi Township, on the Mindat-Hakha Road, were closed on June 20 until further notice. A Chinland Defence Force (CDF) Matupi Brigade 2 spokesperson told DVB that the reason was to stop the military from advancing. 

“Our troops were given orders to shoot [anyone] travelling without permission,” he said. The CDF Matupi Brigade 2 is an ally of the Chin National Army (CNA/CNF) which fought against another faction of the Chin resistance – the Chin Brotherhood – as it attempted to seize control of the remaining military outpost in Matupi earlier this week.

“Chinland Council troops led by the [CNA] attacked from behind when fighting the military’s Light Infantry Battalion [LIB] 140,” said Salai Yaw Man, a spokesperson for the People’s Administration of Mindat Township. “Two members of the Chin Brotherhood and its allies were killed and some others were injured,” he added.

Salai Htet Ni, the CNA spokesperson, told DVB that the Chin Brotherhood, and its ally the Arakan Army (AA), arrested one of its members who was working to evacuate civilians caught in the middle of the fighting earlier this week. 

More than 90 percent of Matupi residents have been forced to flee their homes. Most have fled as refugees into neighbouring Mizoram State of India. More than 100 are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sheltering inside a CDF Matupi battalion. The IDPs report that they are in need of food aid and shelter materials.

Both factions of the Chin resistance claimed that they will continue the fight against the military for control of Matupi despite the lack of progress on negotiations to combine efforts. Salai Htet Ni said that fighting between the CNA and the Chin Brotherhood may reoccur if negotiations fail. 

The Chin Brotherhood launched its attack on Matupi June 9. It seized the military’s LIB 304 on June 17. The LIB 140 remains contested. The Chin resistance now has nine towns under its control across Chinland. The AA seized control of Paletwa Township in southern Chinland in January.

Last week, the AA denied accusations from the Chinland Council, the legislative body formed by the CNA and other members of the Chin resistance, that it is forcefully recruiting Paletwa residents. 

“According to our policy, no one is recruited against their will,” said Khaing Thukha, the AA spokesperson. He added that the AA is handling racial and religious issues with the “utmost care.” The Chinland Council claimed that the AA is “violating basic human rights” by ignoring “the harmony among ethnic groups” in southern Chinland.

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