Bangladesh to close borders to Myanmar nationals amid escalating conflict

The people who have crossed the border have come for refuge and have no intention of starting a war, says Asaduzzaman Khan

Published : 13 Feb 2024, 12:32 PM
Updated : 13 Feb 2024, 12:32 PM

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said no one from Myanmar will be allowed to enter Bangladesh as the ongoing conflict escalates between junta forces and armed insurgents.

The minister made the remarks while speaking to reporters during the inaugural ceremony of Highway Police Service Week 2024 at Rajarbagh Police Lines on Tuesday.

Highlighting the challenges of sheltering the 1.2 million Rohingya who were forcibly displaced from Myanmar, he said: "We will not allow anyone living across the border to enter Bangladesh.”

According to the minister, the people who have crossed the border have come for refuge and have no intention of starting a war.

“BGB personnel have seized the weapons from the armed Rohingya men. The injured are also undergoing treatment here. We have asked Myanmar’s government to take them back."

The minister added that the people seeking refuge in Bangladesh will soon be sent back to Myanmar by ship.

People residing near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border have been living in fear of mortar shells and bullets amid heavy fighting between the military and the rebels across the border.

The conflict has resulted in the death of two people in Naikhongchhari, with bullets also hitting an autorickshaw on Bangladeshi territory.

Over 300 people, including Myanmar's Border Guard Police personnel, are currently taking refuge in Bangladesh after fleeing their posts.

Earlier, over 1 million Rohingya men entered Bangladesh in 2017 to escape persecution in their homeland.

When asked if Myanmar security forces were behind what the UN described as the 'ethnic cleansing' of the Muslim minority Rohingya, Asaduzzaman said, “We don’t know if they were behind the genocide or not. The matter is being looked into at the international court.”