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3 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Myanmar yet to withdraw troops

Staff Reporter
Myanmar yet to withdraw troops
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh and Border Guard Police wait outside the venue during a flag meeting between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the no-man’s-land in Tambru border area of Bandarban yesterday. Photo: Toufiqul Islam

Myanmar yesterday assured Bangladesh that it had increased troops deployment along the border because of “internal security reasons”. The assurance came at a flag meeting between the border security forces of the two countries that ended on a good note. However, the neigbouring country is yet to withdraw the additional troops along the border. On Thursday, Myanmar had deployed a huge number of troops within 150 yards of the 34 and 35 outposts of Tambru bordering Bangladesh. This sudden deployment had escalated tensions between the two neigbours.

Following this, the Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB), on Thursday, called for a flag-meeting with its Myanmarese counterpart at the border. In response, Myanmar’s Border Guard Police (BGP) began the meeting with the BGB at the Ghumdhum border observation post (BOP) in Naikhongchhari upazila in Bandarban at 3pm yesterday.

After a two-hour-long meeting, Lt Col Manjurul Ahsan Khan, commanding officer of the BGB’s Battalion 34, informed the media that Myanamr had deployed the troops for its internal security. Terming the meeting as “fruitful”, Khan said officials from both sides agreed to co-operate in resolving any crisis at the border.

He also said the Myanmarese officials told BGB that their border security force would inform their Bangladeshi counterparts before firing any blank shots at the border in future. Earlier, Myanmar deployed some 200 troops at the border close to a strip of land that is home to makeshift camps housing some 6,000 Rohingya refugees. The strip of land is officially designated as Myanmarese territory, but it is widely referred to as “no man’s land” as it lies beyond the country’s border fence. The UN refugee agency raised their concerns at the military build-up and Bangladesh

foreign ministry summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to Dhaka U Lwin Oo to protest against the deployment of “additional troops”.

Khan said owing to the presence of Rohingyas on the zero line, the BGB and the Myanmarese army had been carrying out various activities, including setting up of barbed wire fences and modern surveillance equipmen,t along the border.

Abdul Khalek, a Rohingya refugee living in the zero line area, said he did not want to go back to Myanmar.

Khalek said they were frightened to see the increased presence of troops at the border. He said the Myanmarese troops were using loudspeakers to ask those living on the no-man’s land to vacate the area at the earliest. “We don’t trust the Myanmarese army. They don’t keep their words,” he said. Meanwhile, AFP reported that Myanmar has defended the deployment of troops near the Bangladesh border by calling it part of an “anti-terrorism operation”. “We acted this way based on the information we got regarding terrorism, especially the Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army (ARSA) movement,” Zaw Htay, a spokesperson for the Myanmarese government, was quoted as saying by AFP.

“It was not aimed at antagonising Bangladesh,” Htay added.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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