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November 2023

Episode: KPN 27-11-2023

Kaladan Radio November 27, 2023 1392 4

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Bangladesh keeping cautious eye on situation in Myanmar

Bangladesh is closely monitoring the deteriorating situation in Myanmar, particularly in the volatile Rakhine region, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said.

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is maintaining vigilant surveillance along the border to prevent any infiltration into Bangladesh, he added.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said these after meeting with the Rohingya National Task Force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

He said: “Since November 13, we have been receiving reports of security issues in Rakhine, including the sound of gunfire and mortar shells in the border area. This has not only affected the Rohingya but also individuals from other communities who may feel insecure and attempt to enter Bangladesh sporadically.”

Emphasizing the heightened alertness of the BGB, Momen said: “Our border security forces are on high alert, closely monitoring to prevent any potential intrusions.”

He elaborated on the situation by mentioning the existing ceasefire agreement between the country’s army and the Arakan Army in Rakhine province.

However, he noted that there have been recent minor incidents, unlike before.

When questioned about the risk of Rohingyas being manipulated for other purposes during the election, Momen said: “We are actively keeping a watchful eye to ensure that no one exploits the situation for their advantage on Bangladesh’s soil. We maintain a zero-tolerance policy in this regard.”

Addressing the composition of groups within the Rohingya camps, the foreign secretary said that these groups are not ideologically driven, with many engaged in extortion or terrorist activities.

He said that the capacity of the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) within the camps has been bolstered to address these challenges.

Momen expressed optimism about addressing the situation, saying: “We have reached a consensus today. Hopefully, if the security situation in Myanmar stabilizes, we can initiate repatriation soon. Our preparation will not be lacking in any way.”

Myanmar military is facing attacks on multiple fronts as an alliance of insurgent groups, including Arakan Army from the Rakhine State, combined with pro-democracy fighters to try to capture territory and challenge the junta’s rule.

On October 27, the alliance launched coordinated attacks on military posts in Shan State bordering China and took several towns, in an operation they called 1027, referring to the date the assault began.

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