ISSN 2330-717X

Can Myanmar Military’s Planned ‘Rohingya Exodus’ To Bangladesh Jeopardize Regional Stability And Peace? – OpEd

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Five years have passed since the influx of Rohingya refugees displaced from Myanmar to Bangladesh has not started repatriation. In this situation, there is a fear of the entry of other ethnic groups from Myanmar to Bangladesh apart from the Rohingyas.

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Myanmar’s internal crisis has become more pronounced in the past few days. Every day there are shootings in the country. And that is near the Bangladesh border.

Incidentally, the conflict has been going on inside Myanmar for several days. Conflict is ongoing in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, an area bordering Bangladesh and India. This clash has created panic in the border areas of Bangladesh. Apart from this, fear has also arisen among the Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh due to persecution from Myanmar. Diplomatic analysts fear negative impact on repatriation issue.

Apart from this, due to this conflict in Myanmar, the remaining Rohingya and other ethnic groups are trying to leave the country. Rohingyas are again entering Bangladesh through Myanmar border.

According to media reports, 10-15 Rohingyas have taken refuge in Ukhiya Kutupalong and Balukhali camps in Cox’s Bazar in the last two days due to the conflict in Myanmar.

Shooting in Myanmar is not confined to the country. One after another the shells are coming on the border of Bangladesh. Myanmar’s ongoing military operations in parts of its west will once again force people like the Rohingya to flee to neighboring countries. Now the number of Rohingyas there is very less.

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According to some reports, some western countries and NGO have already encouraged the Rohingyas in Myanmar to leave Myanmar by announcing the rehabilitation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh. It can be seen that Rohingyas as well as people of other ethnic groups will try to infiltrate neighboring countries to take advantage of this opportunity.

This time, Bangladesh is in a strict position to prevent the entry of Rohingyas. Even border surveillance has been strengthened. Referring to Bangladesh’s more cautious position, Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen said, we are trying to find out what is actually happening in Myanmar. We are also getting some news through unconfirmed sources. What I have come to know is that there are some fights with the Arakan Army inside Myanmar.

He said, “Because the place of incident is near the border of Bangladesh, it sometimes comes here. Keeping things under constant watch. We have already heard from unconfirmed sources that the Myanmar Army has asked people in their border areas to leave the area. As a result of which we fear, some people may immigrate to our country. We have already put our BGB and other forces on alert for this. They have taken more measures, so that no citizen of Myanmar can come to our country.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs. Shahriar Alam said, ‘The situation is being monitored with patience. Now where these events are happening, no Rohingya lives anymore. That’s why there is no danger of Rohingya influx. I understand that their (Myanmar) internal situation may have deteriorated. That’s their thing. We are saying that there should be no impact on the border of Bangladesh. When the Rohingyas came in 2016-17, we could not prevent or we did not want to prevent for humanitarian reasons. But now we have some information, which was not there at that time.

He said the incident of Myanmar receiving ammunition on the border of sovereign Bangladesh is “extremely painful”. The ambassador has been repeatedly summoned in recent incidents. In response, the embassy could not say anything other than that it was ‘by mistake’. This time, Dhaka has expressed its dissatisfaction to the country’s foreign ministry through the Bangladesh embassy in Naypyidaw. This behavior of Myanmar has been reported to other embassies in Dhaka.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen told reporters that the Myanmar ambassador has been informed of these incidents and has been warned not to repeat such incidents in the future.

Despite warning to Myanmar, mortars are falling on Bangladesh border. At the same time on September 4, a news titled ‘Myanmar does not heed warning, shelling panics across the border’ caught people’s attention. Bangladesh is an independent and sovereign state. In 1971, we got the red-green flag and freedom in exchange for the honor of 3 million martyrs and 2 million mothers and sisters. Not hostility; Friendship is our foreign policy. Bangladesh has set a unique example by creating friendly relations with neighboring countries. When Myanmar persecuted the Rohingyas from their country, Bangladesh gave them shelter. These Rohingyas are living in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasanchar. While the large number of Rohingya is a thorn in the country’s side, the government is dealing with that risk for humanitarian reasons. Bangladesh is the sponsoring country of South Asian Regional Cooperation Organization-SAARC. Since its inception, the country has been careful to maintain good relations with its neighbours.

As we know, there is ongoing internal violence in Myanmar. Apart from the state forces, members of various separatist organizations are also losing their lives. Violence has been raging in Myanmar’s Rakhine for two weeks. Their shells and mortar shells are falling on the Ghumdhum-Tumbru border of Naikxyongchari upazila of Bandarban, Bangladesh. There is panic among the locals. The Bangladesh government protested after the first round of mortar shelling. He summoned the country’s ambassador posted in Dhaka and warned. Still the fear does not stop. Because, the shell came after the mortar shell fell. A repeat of such an incident within 7 days of warning naturally creates panic. The question is, is Myanmar not paying attention to Bangladesh’s warning? Bangladesh is not antagonism; Believes in friendly foreign policy but does not believe in kneeling foreign policy. Keep in mind that no leaf trap can be stepped on. It should also be kept in mind whether Myanmar is provoking by firing mortar shells. We must protest from our position without falling into any provocation.

It has been six years since the Rohingyas took refuge in Bangladesh. The Rohingya problem is not yet resolved. Due to the security situation in Myanmar and the ongoing global crisis, the repatriation process has not yet started. Negotiations are ongoing on behalf of Bangladesh through the international community. After the military coup in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, the overall security situation there has further deteriorated.

Violent anti-junta protests, protests and bloodshed have pushed Myanmar into a conflict situation, an ongoing situation that creates uncertainty over Rohingya repatriation, but Bangladesh continues to negotiate repeatedly. While Bangladesh is negotiating through the international community for the dignified return of the Rohingyas to their home country, various activities in Myanmar are causing security concerns and instability. In the fifth joint working group (JWG) meeting between Bangladesh and Myanmar on the repatriation of the Rohingyas on June 14, Bangladesh highlighted the need for the rapid repatriation of the Rohingyas and called for the verification of the Rohingyas to be completed as soon as possible, to ensure their safety, livelihood and welfare.

Also, the Rohingyas staying in various camps in Bangladesh organized programs to attract the attention of the international community. It can be said that two mortar shells fired from Myanmar have reached the border of Bangladesh just when efforts are being made to speed up the repatriation of the Rohingyas. On August 28 last Sunday, around 3:30 pm, two mortar shells fell in Tumbra Bazar area of ​​Ghumdhum border of Naikshyongchari, Bandarban. However, there were no casualties as they did not explode. It was revealed in the press that the incident of the unexploded mortar shell falling on the border of Bangladesh was an accident or intentional, quoting the foreign secretary. Mortar is not a stone or a jute which is hit on one side and forgotten on the other side. To fire a mortar, it has to be prepared and fired in a military manner. So it’s provocative it’s clear – which is not desirable at all. After this incident, two bullets fell in Bangladesh from the warplanes of the Myanmar army. Last Saturday morning, these two bullets fell in the slumber of Bandarban’s Naikxyongchari upazila. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said that Myanmar Ambassador U Aung Kyaw Mo will be summoned again in this incident yesterday. This time, not a single Myanmar citizen will be allowed to enter Bangladesh.

All law-and-order forces, including the border guards, have already been ordered to monitor the situation. The Arakan Army has been fighting Myanmar’s army across the border in Rakhine state for more than two weeks, local authorities and residents said. Later in the afternoon, a mortar shell fell within the border of Bangladesh. The BGB patrolling the border said that the BGB authorities have strengthened security at the border and are on high alert. On the other hand, there has been panic among the people of the area due to mortar shells. No one is allowed to approach the zero line. On August 25, 2017, the Myanmar Army launched an operation in Rakhine State. Faced with their indiscriminate killings and arson, more than 700,000 Rohingya fled and took shelter in Bangladesh. Currently, the number of Rohingyas registered in 33 shelter camps in Ukhia and Teknaf is 1.25 million.

At the same time, more than 6,000 Rohingyas built a shelter camp in the south of the Konarpara Canal in Ghumdhum Union of Naikshyongchari and started settling. Shots were suddenly fired from the helicopter yesterday afternoon. It is none of Bangladesh’s business who the Myanmar military will fight with when. But for any reason, their mortar shelling inside Bangladesh is provocative. A week after mortar shells were fired on the border of Bangladesh on August 28, shelling again took place on September 3. These scandals are undoubtedly provocative. Myanmar has no choice to refrain from this crime. No mortar or shelling is desirable without repatriation of Rohingyas.

One thought on “Can Myanmar Military’s Planned ‘Rohingya Exodus’ To Bangladesh Jeopardize Regional Stability And Peace? – OpEd

  • September 13, 2022 at 11:55 am
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    The Rohingyas staying in various camps in Bangladesh organized programs to attract the attention of the international community. It can be said that two mortar shells fired from Myanmar have reached the border of Bangladesh just when efforts are being made to speed up the repatriation of the Rohingyas.‘The situation is being monitored with patience. Now where these events are happening, no Rohingya lives anymore. That’s why there is no danger of Rohingya influx. I understand that their (Myanmar) internal situation may have deteriorated.

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