Zo United leaders share stance on Mizoram elections and demand for separate administration

Aizawl: The leaders of Zo United, a conglomerate representing 22 tribes from Manipur on Thursday voiced their views on the upcoming Mizoram elections. While Mizo National Front (MNF) leaders claimed widespread support from the Zo community, office bearers of Zo United told EastMojo that the outcome will depend on how politicians will utilise the situation, emphasising that Zo United’s primary focus is Manipur. They stressed that they need support from every individual in Mizoram. 

Responding to queries on their stand on the demand for a separate administration of the Zo people in Manipur, the leaders responded by saying “While Zo United was not formed to promote a separate administration, we are resolute in their support for this cause, as we have no alternative.” They cited the involvement of the SoO (Suspension of Operations) group in political dialogues with the government, affirming their willingness to stand with them whenever possible.

Albert L Renthlei, the convener of Zo United, clarified the organisation’s purpose, stating that it is a coalition of 22 tribes from Manipur, brought together through consensus. He said their main objective is humanitarian service, human relief, rehabilitation, and addressing related issues stemming from the ongoing conflict.

Zo United, founded on September 7, 2023, expressed deep gratitude to the people of Mizoram for their unwavering support during what they describe as an ethnic cleansing crisis among the Zo people in Manipur.

They acknowledged the support they received from various entities, including the Young Mizo Association (YMA), the public, and the government, who assured them that they would not suffer alone.

According to their reports, the crisis has resulted in the burning of 203 villages, 8,166 homes, and 266 churches, with over 60,000 people displaced and 168 relief camps providing shelter. They further reported that 41 individuals have lost their lives in these relief camps due to various illnesses.

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As per its statement of purpose, Zo United will build relationships within its constituent bodies for a more cohesive and co-ordinated functioning internally. It will “strive for diplomatic relations with various civil society organizations of other communities, government, and non-government organizations to further the cause of its common issues.”

Also Read | Mizoram speaker resigns, cites need for BJP support amid state’s financial crisis

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