Refugee Crisis Intensifies at India-Myanmar Border Amid Ongoing Conflict



Tensions are rising at the India-Myanmar border as thousands of refugees from Myanmar’s Chin ethnic group flee to northeastern India following the military coup in 2021. The influx of over 30,000 refugees, who are not recognized as such by India, has left them in political limbo and struggling to survive. Despite the lack of formal refugee status, they are supported by local NGOs and share ethnic bonds with communities in the Indian state of Mizoram.

  • Over 30,000 refugees from Myanmar’s Chin ethnic group have settled in northeastern India since the 2021 military coup.
  • Refugees have been left in political limbo as they are not recognized by India and struggle to find work and support their families.
  • Local NGOs, such as the Young Mizo Association, provide food and essentials to the refugees.
  • The refugees share an ethnic bond with the local populations of Mizoram, who welcome them despite the lack of formal recognition.
  • The Chin people, predominantly Christians, gather in makeshift churches to pray for their country and the possibility of returning home.
  • Some refugees seek refugee status through the UNHCR in Delhi and hope to be resettled in countries that recognize them as refugees.
  • The situation at the border is exacerbated by geopolitical interests in Myanmar, particularly involving China and India’s need to maintain a presence due to China’s strong influence in the region.
  • Local governments in Mizoram have been more accepting of the refugees due to ethnic linkages, despite the central Indian government not recognizing them as refugees.
  • As the conflict in Myanmar worsens, it is likely that the number of refugees will increase, putting additional pressure on local resources and communities in India.

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