To protect indigenous people rights, COCOMI urges UN to step in

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To protect indigenous people rights, COCOMI urges UN to step in

Imphal: Khuraijam Athouba, the COCOMI spokesperson and IPSA Vice-President, has made his third personal intervention at the ongoing 55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 2024 in Geneva on March 22.

The intervention was regarding General Debate Agenda Item-5, Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms.

Athouba highlighted the issues of the Northeast region of India, including the disruption of inter-ethnic harmony due to illegal influx from Myanmar, the destabilisation caused by cross-border movements, and the environmental threat posed by opium poppy cultivation.

He also mentioned the involvement of foreign terror networks in the ongoing violence in Manipur.

Athouba appealed to the council to take necessary measures to safeguard human rights and the security of indigenous peoples. He will be attending more sessions under the aegis of COCOMI and IPSA.

The transcript of the COCOMI’s spokesperson states, “India’s Northeast region’s fragile geopolitical position, compounded by an unaccounted illegal influx from Myanmar due to the ongoing unrest has severely disrupted inter-ethnic harmony.

It has led to a significant deterioration of human rights and peaceful coexistence between ethnic communities.

The surge in cross-border movements has further destabilized the region, with a majority of refugees seeking sanctuary in India’s Northeast regions and indulging in all forms of illicit activities encroaching reserved forest areas.”

Further Athouba also highlighted the confiscation of unlimited drugs and arms from the region in recent years is alarming.

“18 Billion Dollars worth of drugs seized in Manipur. 16.88 Billion in Assam and 1.6 Billion in Mizoram, all drugs came from Myanmar,” mentions

Additionally, extensive opium poppy cultivation in Manipur, particularly by immigrant groups has reached unprecedented levels, till date almost 18 thousand acres have been destroyed. This has led to massive deforestation, degrading the environment and threatening the survival of indigenous populations, as mentioned in his statement.

Further, the COCOMI appeals to the UN to:

  •  Strengthening cross-border cooperation to combat illicit drug and arms trafficking.
  • By Supporting sustainable alternative livelihoods to discourage poppy cultivation and mitigate environmental degradation.
  • By Facilitating international cooperation to address the involvement of foreign terror networks in regional violence.

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