ISSN 2330-717X

To Maintain Friendly Ties With Bangladesh, Myanmar Military Must Stop Shelling At Border – OpEd

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Myanmar’s Rakhine state, bordering Bangladesh and India, has been in conflict for two months, affecting neighboring countries as well. Especially the residents of Ghumdhum and Tambru border areas of Bandarban are in panic. On the other hand, many people of these states fled and took refuge in India. Ammunition of the Myanmar army is coming to our border. The villagers of those borders are in fear. Bangladesh summoned Myanmar’s ambassador to warn them due to shelling in Bangladesh’s territory in August. On September 4, Bangladesh issued a strong protest by summoning Myanmar’s ambassador.

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It is customary to exchange information with neighboring countries before using any type of shelling in border-adjacent areas. But despite the incidents of these shootings on the border, no information was exchanged with Bangladesh.

 This situation has arisen due to the fact that the Myanmar Army once had an understanding with the Arakan Army, but now they are attacking the Myanmar Army in various places. As it is right, the arrival of Rohingyas from other side may also happen to save lives. Along with that, the rebels there can also cross the border and come inside. Admittedly petroling there is quite difficult. In this situation our BGB and all other security forces have to be alert.

But what actually happened in Myanmar? This is everyone’s question now. However, due to strict censorship in Myanmar under military rule, it is very difficult to get any information from that country. However, according to the information received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BGB, local residents of Bandarban and Myanmar newspapers, since the beginning of August, the Arakan rebel forces have been fighting with the Myanmar army in Rakhine, Tanpatti and Haka states of that country.

On the one hand, as the Myanmar army is fighting with the Arakan Army in Rakhine, on the other hand, the Myanmar army has started a major military operation against the rebel groups in Kayah, Kain and Chin states since last May. The military forces of that country are also using helicopters and warplanes in this war.

According to Thailand-based Myanmar daily Irrawaddy, at least 19 Border Guard Policemen were killed in an Arakan Army (AA) attack in Maungdoo on September 4. They looted the station’s weapons and ammunition.

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The Myanmar Army then launched airstrikes with warplanes and helicopters. Ammunition and missiles are fired from these planes and helicopters at several places in Rakhine State. Myanmar army has been fighting with Arakan army since last August. Every day for a month, the sound of gunfire is coming from across the border.

For several days, it was seen firing from warplanes and helicopters. Journalists have received information from local residents that the army is fighting fiercely with the Arakan forces inside Myanmar. The army is raiding one village after another. Houses were burnt in many villages.

According to the US Institute of Peace, a military coup in Myanmar was preceded by a 2020 ceasefire agreement with the Arakan Army. But after the coup, anti-military sentiment grew in Rakhine State, like elsewhere in the country. On this occasion, the Arakan Army has taken the initiative to come out of the ceasefire and build a strong position.

The military junta wants to hold general elections in Myanmar in August 2023. Before that they want to establish their complete control in Rakhine and other states. Rakhine State is particularly important to them because it borders Bangladesh and India, says the Institute of Peace.

According to Daily Irrawaddy, since August 2, the Arakan Army started attacking the army and police in several places. As a response, the Myanmar army has launched an operation. Along with helicopter and air strikes, 300-400 shells are fired daily from six army posts there, Irrawaddy said. On the other hand, the anti-junta People’s Defense Forces (PDF) have started heavy fighting with the army in Sagaing and Magwa regions.

At least two rebel groups in the Chinese state – the China Defense Force and the Chinese National Army – have been waging an armed movement against the country’s military and administration for many days. According to Irrawaddy news portal, several rebel groups, including the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, the Karenni Army, have been fighting the army since last May in Kayah state. Several rebel groups are also fighting the army in neighboring Shan State. The rebels claim that they have killed 1500 soldiers so far – although this information could not be objectively verified.

Since last year, pro-democracy activists in that country have also been holding regular demonstrations against the army, protesting against military rule. At the same time, the crackdown and torture of the army is increasing. In addition to heavy shelling, mortars, aircraft and heavy artillery fire, the Myanmar army is using these insurgencies. They have burnt several villages there and are raiding from village to village. As a result, many people from these areas have taken refuge in Mizoram, India.

Myanmar’s Rakhine state is an area bordering Bangladesh. Where the conflict is going on, that too is just across the border in Bangladesh. As a result, the Bangladeshi residents of the border area are terrified of the conflict there. Last August 28, around 2:30 pm, two mortar shells fired from Myanmar landed near Tambru North neighborhood of Naikshangchari in Bandarban district, according to the local administration.

However, there were no casualties. Local residents said that Dosra fell within 150 meters of the Bangladesh border when it was fired from Myanmar warplanes and helicopters near the border in September.

Four and a half thousand Rohingyas have been living on the Tambru border line in Naikshatchari for several years, where this violence is taking place. Due to the violence, there is a fear that they will move into Bangladesh.

Even though the conflict is across the border, Bangladesh has enough reasons to worry about it. Because where the conflict is said to be taking place, the movement is quite difficult. If such shelling continues, it is a matter of great concern for Bangladesh. Especially in areas where access or movement is difficult. This situation has arisen due to the fact that the Myanmar Army once had an understanding with the Arakan Army, but now they are attacking the Myanmar Army in various places. As it is right, the arrival of Rohingyas from other side may also happen to save lives. Along with that, the rebels there can also cross the border and come inside. Admittedly petroling there is quite difficult. In this situation our BGB and all other security forces have to be alert.

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