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Friday 20 July 2018

Bangladesh accuses Burma of deploying troops at border

Thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled Burma are living in the area in tents.

Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma in their thousands (AP)
Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma in their thousands (AP)

By Julhas Alam

Bangladesh’s border agency has accused Burma of deploying additional forces across its border near a no-man’s-land where thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees are living in tents.

Brigadier General Mojibur Rahman of the Border Guard of Bangladesh said his agency had raised objections with Burma for unilaterally increasing its border guards and bringing in soldiers at the Tombru border crossing in Khagrachhari district.

Brig Gen Rahman said Burma’s motive is not clear but it could be an attempt to push about 6,000 Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh from the no-man’s-land.

He complained that Burmese officials have been using loudspeakers to urge the Rohingya in the no-man’s-land to enter Bangladesh. Bangladesh wants them to return to Burma.

United News of Bangladesh reported that Bangladesh’s acting foreign secretary, Mohammed Khurshed Alam, summoned Burma’s envoy in Dhaka and handed over a protest note.

It said the ministry conveyed Bangladesh’s concerns about Burma’s military build-up at Tombru and said it would create confusion and escalate tensions along the border. The ministry asked for an immediate pullback of the security forces from the area, the agency reported.

A total of about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Buddhist-dominated Burma to Bangladesh since late August, when Burmese security forces began massive “clearance operations” after an insurgent group attacked security posts.

Press Association

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