Friday, May 30, 2014

Flash-point: Nakhyangchari Bangladesh-Myanmar Border Post 52

Flash-point: Nakhyangchari Bangladesh-Myanmar Border Post 52

This border post has become the flash-point of cross-border firing between Bangladesh border security forces (Border Guard Bangladesh=BGB) and Myanmar border security forces (Border Guard Police=BGP).

Background to the Firing

On 17 May 2014: a patrol of BGP led by Captain Nwe Oo Maung came under the attacks allegedly carried out by a group of some 60 militants belonging to Rohingiya Solidarity Organization (RSO) at the 52 border post between Bangladesh and Myanmar at Nakhyangchari, CHT. It was reported four BGP personnel were killed, one was seriously injured and two were missing in these attacks.
BGP personnel killed: Thiha Aung, Hla Min Htat, Min Htway and Nay Lin Soe.
BGP personnel injured: Captain Nwe Oo Maung.
BGP personnel missing: Wai Lin Soe and Arrar Maung.

21 May 2014: a meeting was held between BGB and BGP representatives at Nakhyangchari border. BGP representatives warned their counterpart (BGB) to cut off their relations with them if the latter allowed RSO militants to use Bangladesh territory for cross-border terrorist activities against Myanmar in Arakan.

28 May 2014: an exchange of fire took place between BGB and BBP across the 52 border post. Five BGB personnel and one suspected DGFI agent were believed to have been killed in this firing. One of them was reported missing.

29 May 2014: the Ambassador of Myanmar to Dhaka was called on by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Government of Bangladesh. And it was reported the Ministry handed over a letter (which is believed to be addressing the concerns of Bangladesh over the issue) to the Myanmar's diplomat, and the latter was reported to have assured Dhaka of conveying his country's response to the letter soon.

Meanwhile both sides were seen to have strengthened their security forces along the border. Tension was looming large in the border.

30 May 2014: RSO militants allegedly backed by BGB started unprovoked firing at BGP posts in Arakan at about 7 am. It triggered firing between BGB & RSO militants and BGP almost all the day intermittently. It was intensified in the afternoon. The firing stopped from both sides at about 5:30 pm. However, tension is still prevailing in the border.

RSO formed with Rohingiya Muslims and Bengali Muslim settlers settled in Myanmar has been fighting for an independent Islamic state in Myanmar's Arakan state bordering Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been allegedly supporting RSO in this fight in terms of proving shelter and armed training in its territory.

It seems Arakan is going to be the next Kashmir. It is alleged that Bangladesh is backing RSO in their attacks against Myanmar in Arakan in the way Pakistan is doing its militant groups in their attacks against India in Kashmir.

Photo: RSO militants undergoing military training in undisclosed location in Bangladesh.

____ Nikhil Chakma
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