Zomi Army Sends Warning Letter—With Bullet—to Miner

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The Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) sent a warning letter with a bullet to a Sagaing man who has reportedly been engaging in mining metals in Chin State’s Tedim Township.

The accused, U Than Sawng, lives in Kalay Township. According to the ZRA’s letter, sent on June 13, he has been illegally digging for minerals in Tedim’s Mwetawng area.

The letter was signed by Maj Zo Thang, commander of ZRA’s eastern command, and stated that the area where the mining was taking place is owned by ethnic Zomi people.

If U Than Sawng is caught mining again, the ZRA said it would take action in accordance with “revolutionary procedures,” and that the warning letter would be the first and last of its kind.

The Zomi Revolutionary Army is based and active in Manipur, in northeastern India and has signed a ceasefire with the Indian central government. The group has not been known to patrol the Burmese side of the border.

An activist campaigning around issues affecting the Mwetawng area also told Khonumthung News that U Than Sawng had been warned by others regarding alleged illegal mining in the area in 2018. Geologists have predicted that many metric tons nickel, iron and chromite may exist in the Mwetawng area. China’s North Mining Investment Company carried out preliminary testing of the Mwetawng area in 2013. Chin political parties civil society organizations opposed the company’s involvement, citing a lack of transparency in their practices.

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