Bangladesh, Myanmar conduct joint patrol along border

Bangladesh, Myanmar conduct joint patrol along border

SAM Staff,

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar have jointly conducted a patrol along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

The patrol was conducted between Bandarban’s Ghumdum and Rakhine’s Tambru on Sunday from 10am to 12pm, BGB 34 battalion Commanding Officer Lt Col Monzurul Hassan Khan confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune.

Fifteen BGB members and 17 BGP members took part in the patrol that started from Bangladesh-Myanmar Friendship Bridge near Ghumdum border outpost (BOP) and concluded near Tambru BOP.

Earlier, on March 6, the border forces of the two neighbours conducted another joint patrol in the Nafriver to prevent any possible untoward situations on the border because of the ongoing Rohingya crisis.

In a sudden move on the night of February 18, Myanmar security forces started gathering in bunkers within close proximity of the border. Their heightened presence in the area included heavy weapons the following day, sparking fears among the Rohingya people stranded in Tambru’s no man’s land and raising tensions between the two countries.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar conducting a patrol along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border on Sunday Syed Zakir Hossain

However, the situation at the Tambru border point started to return to normal as Myanmar began withdrawing troops from the area on March 2, following a flag meeting between BGB and BGP.

As BGB invited BGP to conduct joint patrols, the latter said they would not join the patrolling until March 10. They, however, agreed to patrol the border with BGB on March 11–27.

The Myanmarese security forces previously claimed the increased presence and firing were meant to “protect their territory” and should not be viewed as an act of aggression against Bangladesh.

Rocked and displaced, over 5,000 Rohingya people have taken shelter in the Tambru no man’s land since August 25 of last year, when ethnic conflicts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state sparked the most rapid human exodus since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Nearly 700,000 of the community have crossed into Bangladesh fearing for their lives over the past six months, joining about 400,000 others who were already living in squalid, cramped camps in Cox’s Bazar. However, the Rohingya influx is still continuing.

On November 23, Dhaka and Naypyidaw signed an agreement to begin repatriating the refugees in January this year, but this process has stalled over technical and ground-level complexities.