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Mizo ethnic tribes of Manipur come under Zo United umbrella

Aizawl: In a significant development, the Zo ethnic tribes belonging to Kuki-Zomi-Mizo-Hmar community in Manipur have agreed to come under one umbrella – Zo United.

The decision was made by representatives of all different tribe-based associations from Kuki-Zomi-Hmar-Mizo communities of Manipur on Thursday evening at a meeting in Aizawl.

Meeting of the different ethnic Mizo tribe-based organisations, convened by Mizoram’s NGO Coordination Committee, began on Wednesday at the hall of the central committee of the Young Mizo Association (YMA) in southern part of Aizawl city.

One of the leaders said that pressed by the continued attacks by majority Meitei community against the minority ethnic Mizos, there had been strong proposals for a stronger united front to defend the tribal lands from the marauding Meitei militant organisations.

The decision to form ‘Zo United’ was to strengthen the unity and coordination amongst all the ethnic Mizo groups and associations attached to the groups, he said.

The new body will appoint its leaders before September 20 and will also be represented by one leader each from the inpi/inpui (apex body) of all the tribes and sub-tribes as well as the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) and Hill Tribal Council (HTC).

‘Zo United’ is not a name derived from a single ethnic Mizo tribe but an organization formed to strengthen the unity and coordination amongst all the tribal entities.

It was also decided that the near defunct Coordination Committee on Separate Administration Manipur (CORSAM) and Joint Inpi Council (JIC) should be dissolved with immediate effect.

The meeting was attended by 16 organisations of Manipur hill tribal areas and six Manipur tribal legislators including 2 ministers of state besides leaders of the Mizoram NGOCC. 

One of the leaders, attending the meeting, said that villagers of Pallel, a Kuki-Zomi-Hmar village in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district, take refuge inside a BSF camp on Friday after the village was attacked by ‘radicalized Meitei groups’ – Arambai Tenggol, Meitei Leepun and MeiraPaibis.

“Around 7:00 am on Friday, Meitei gunmen dressed in military combat uniforms began firing at the village from a nearby hill,” he said, adding that detailed reports are being awaited.

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