Over 150 soldiers from Myanmar, who fled to Mizoram last week after their camps were captured by armed pro-democracy ethnic groups, were flown back home on a Myanmar military aircraft today, official sources said.
A Myanmar Air Force aircraft landed at the Lengpui airport in Mizoram today to take back the soldiers, the arrangements were overseen by New Delhi. The transport aircraft took off from Mandalay in Myanmar and landed in Mizoram and airlifted 151 soldiers to Akyab in the neighbouring country in two sorties.
On December 29, 151 Myanmarese soldiers, also known as ‘Tatmadaw’, fled from their camps and crossed into Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district with their arms and approached the Assam Rifles after their camp near the Indo-Myanmar border was overrun by the Arakan Army fighter, an armed pro-democracy group in Myanmar.
The Assam Rifles provided medical treatment to Myanmarese soldiers who were critically injured in the gun battle while fleeing the camps. The soldiers were in the custody of Assam Rifles at Parva in Lawngtlai.
An officer from the Assam Rifles said earlier that the soldiers from Myanmar will be sent back to their country in some days as talks are going on between the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Myanmar military government,
Earlier in November, 104 soldiers from Myanmar, including officers, fled to Mizoram in different phases after their camps near the border were overrun by pro-democracy armed groups.
They were airlifted by the Indian Air Force to Moreh in Manipur, from where they crossed the international border and entered Tamu, the nearest border town in Myanmar.
Crisis In Myanmar
Myanmar has been in turmoil since 2021 after the military took power from Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi-led government in a coup, ending decades of democratic reform. The country was ruled with an iron fist of the military for 50 years after seizing power in 1962 and projected itself as the only institution that could hold Myanmar’s diversity together.
The coup dashed all hopes of democracy prevailing in the country, forcing pro-democracy and other rebel groups along with ethnic minorities to resist the military junta’s rule and fight for self-determination in the hinterlands.
Myanmar’s military junta is facing stiff resistance from armed militias and resistance groups who have posed the biggest threat to the ruling faction since the military coup.
A parallel government formed by pro-democracy politicians to oppose the military, and allied with some insurgent factions, has launched a “Road to Naypyitaw” campaign which it says is aimed at taking control of the capital.