Bangladesh border force put on alert as Myanmar mobilizes army on border

Henrietta Strickland
March 2, 2018

The foreign ministry "summoned" Myanmar's envoy and conveyed the country's "concerns" over the "military build-up" amid rising tensions following the influx of almost 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

Bangladesh's acting foreign secretary "conveyed to the Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka that such military build-up will create confusion within Bangladesh and escalate tensions on the border", the ministry said. The ministry asked for an immediate pullback of the security forces from the area, the agency reported.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslim's have set up a camp on the land between the two countries.

They were among the first to flee Myanmar when the violence erupted a year ago and set up makeshift shelters in no man's land in the weeks before Bangladesh agreed to let the Rohingya into the country.

The United Nations and human rights organisations have collected evidence of widespread abuses by the Myanmar military against the largely stateless Rohingya, including murder, rape and arson, prompting almost 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, and have called the crackdown ethnic cleansing.

BANGLADESH has ordered neighbouring Burma (Myanmar) to withdraw troops from their shared border region after large numbers of soldiers and weaponry were spotted just metres away from a makeshift Rohingya settlement. The laureates spoke at a news conference in Dhaka on Wednesday during their weeklong trip to Bangladesh to visit the camps where the Rohingya are living.

He said BGB asked its Myanmar counterparts to join an "urgent flag meeting" to clarify the buildup of extra forces, equipped with heavy weapons, since this morning.

Replying to a question, Karman said the three planned to visit Myanmar and they had sent several messages to their friend Suu Kyi but she had not replied.

He complained that Myanmar officials have been using loudspeakers to urge the Rohingya in the no man's land to enter Bangladesh.

Bangladesh was supposed to start the repatriation process last month but it has been delayed amid concerns over a lack of preparation.

According to Bangladesh newspaper The Daily Star, Rohingya community leader Dil Mohammad also alleged that Burma's border guard police often come near the barbed-wire fences, fire blank shots and even throw bricks and empty liquor bottles at the Rohingya, instilling in them a greater sense of fear.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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