Stop border shelling, or Bangladesh will take the issue to UN, home minister warns Myanmar

The warning comes after the killing of a Rohingya in the latest round of shelling by Myanmar amid fighting with rebels

Published : 17 Sept 2022, 03:07 PM
Updated : 17 Sept 2022, 03:07 PM

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has warned Myanmar that Bangladesh will take the issue of military shelling along the border to the United Nations.

The warning comes after reports of the killing of a Rohin‌gya teen along the Bandarban border by a mortar shell fired from Myanmar during a crackdown on rebels, the latest in a string of violent incidents that have put residents on edge.

Speaking at a programme in Dhanmondi on Saturday, Khan said Bangladesh “does not want a conflict, but a peaceful resolution”.

“If we can’t make that happen ourselves, we’ll raise the issue with the United Nations and do everything necessary.”

The foreign ministry summoned Myanmar's ambassador in Dhaka to lodge protests several times after mortar shells fired from across the border landed in Bandarban last month.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen then said the incidents were not motivated, rather the undetonated shells were “strays”.

But on Friday, a shell fell on a refugee settlement near the Tumabru and Konapara border in Bandarban's Ghumdhum Union.

The BNP on Saturday held a press conference over the incident drawing the attention of the international community and the UN. The BNP and the Jatiya Party have alleged Myanmar gathered the courage to conduct violent fighting along the borders because of the Awami League government’s “weak” foreign policy.

The home minister said Border Guard Bangladesh and Myanmar’s Border Guard Police were in “regular contact”.

“Our foreign ministry has summoned the Myanmar envoy to clearly state our stance,” he added.

Khan stressed Myanmar must resolve its “internal conflict” inside their territory and hoped that the neighbours will “realise their mistake”.

He said he was not quite sure about the nature of the rebel Arakan Army’s relationship with the Myanmar government that “appeared peaceful at times”.

“Only they know what mystery lies within.”

Bangladesh has sheltered over 1.1 million Rohingya people, the natives of Myanmar’s Rakhine, after more than 700,000 members of the ethnic minority group were forced to cross the border during a brutal military campaign in 2017.

On Rohingya people’s new attempts to arrive in Bangladesh, Khan said the BGB and coast guards were working to block Myanmar nationals from entering Bangladesh.

“Some are still taking the risk to move in, but they are being pushed back.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher