Home » After Manipur, ZRA attacks pro democrats force CDF in Myanmar’s Chin State

After Manipur, ZRA attacks pro democrats force CDF in Myanmar’s Chin State

by Rinku Khumukcham
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After Manipur, ZRA attacks pro democrats force CDF in Myanmar’s Chin State

IT News
Imphal, Sept 15:

Amid escalating tensions in Manipur, with suspicions centering around the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) and other militant groups presently under a suspension of operation (SoO), ‘Myanmar Now’, a respected Myanmar news portal, has disclosed that ZRA militants initiated two distinct assaults on Chinland Defence Force (CDF) bases in Tonzang Township, Northern Chin State, within the last several weeks.
The report said: “The Chinland Defence Force (CDF) claims that two of its fighters were killed when the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) attacked its camps in Tonzang Township, northern Chin State twice in recent weeks.”
In 1993, the inception of the Zomi Revolutionary Organization (ZRO) was officially documented, according to a government report. By 1997, as ethnic tensions intensified between the Kukis and Paites in Manipur’s Churachandpur district, the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) was formed as its militant arm.
The purported objective of the ZRO/ZRA is to protect the interests of the Paite community from the ‘onslaught of any community or group’. It further attempts to bring all the Zomi people, divided by artificial State boundaries in various countries, specifically in Myanmar (Chin State), India (Manipur and Mizoram), and Bangladesh (Chittagong Hills Tracts), together under one administrative unit, a ‘Zogam’, which means ‘land of the Zomi’ under the Indian Union.
ZRO president, Thang Lian Pau, is a former Member of Parliament in Myanmar and reportedly enrolled as an Indian voter in 1995.
A statement by the ZRO on August 9, 2005, said that the outfit had reached a cease-fire understanding with the security forces for a period of six months, beginning August 1, of the same year. The statement said that the outfit “viewed the steps taken by the Indian government in this regard as a positive approach towards a better understanding of our unique history and realisation of the need for a permanent solution to the long-standing aspirations of the Zo people.”
The Myanmar news portal reports – The ZRA—another ethnic armed organisation based in the state of Manipur, India, which serves as a border guard force for the Indian government—raided one of the camps belonging to the Chin anti-junta resistance group near Tonzang on August 31, and another CDF camp last Sunday.
In the first raid, the ZRA overwhelmed the fighters in the CDF camp with superior numbers, killing CDF member Paung Kap Thang and seizing drones and heavy artillery, according to Thang Suan Mung, general secretary of the CDF chapter based in Tonzang.
“Most of the CDF fighters were able to escape with their own guns. But we weren’t able to take the more important drones, heavy guns, and artillery shells,” Myanmar Now quoted a CDF leader.
The ZRA then raided another CDF camp in Tonzang Township at around 9am on Sunday, killing CDF fighter Mung Kap Thang and seizing an automatic rifle, according to the CDF-Tonzang general secretary.
The CDF was formed in Chin State of Myanmar in 2021 in response to the military coup and has since been fighting against the military regime alongside the older Chin National Army (CNA)—the armed wing of the ethnic political group Chin National Front (CNF), founded in 1988.
First formed in 1993, the ZRA was designated as a Border Guard Force for India in 2005. While the larger organisation is based in Manipur, India, the ZRA’s Eastern Command is headquartered in Chin State.
The ZRA’s motives for attacking CDF camps near the India-Myanmar border remain unclear. Myanmar Now attempted to contact ZRA via e-mail regarding the raids on the two CDF camps but has not received a response.
The Zomi Political Coordination Committee—the ZRA’s political wing—posted on its social media page on August 31 that the ZRA had succeeded in repelling armed men attempting to disrupt the stability of the township, in a reference to the raid on the CDF camp that day.
The ZRA has also been involved in clashes with the CNA since 2021. In addition, before the most recent incidents, the ZRA had raided camps set up by anti-junta Chin resistance forces in Chin State at least three times.
These raids by ZRA, which have included CDF strongholds as well as camps for small anti-junta defence groups based in the Chin homeland, occurred despite the ZRA’s Eastern Command issuing a public statement of support for the resistance against Myanmar’s military dictatorship in April 2021.
The CDF said in a public statement in 2021 that if the ZRA continued to attack groups fighting against the military regime, the retaliation would be severe. However, the ZRA carried out yet another attack in September 2021 on a meeting convened to plan the formation of a local anti-junta resistance group in Tedim Township.
Tonzang Township, a hilly area, borders Manipur and Mizoram State in northeastern India. According to figures published by Myanmar’s General Administration Department in 2019, the township has a population of over 35,000.

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