Tensions Escalate Along Bangladesh-Myanmar Border

Shelling from Myanmar into the Bangladeshi side of the border has increased in recent weeks, resulting in death and injuries to Rohingya.

Acting Foreign Secretary Rear Admiral (Rtd) Md. Khorshed Alam briefs the Heads of Mission from South East Asian countries in Dhaka on September 19, 2022, on the prevailing situation in the areas along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Credit: Twitter/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh

On September 16, an 18-year-old Rohingya boy was killed, and five others injured when mortar shells fired from Myanmar fell and exploded in the no-man’s land near Bandarban’s Tumbru Bazar border area. Around 4,000 Rohingyas are reported to be living in this area.

Shells have been landing on the Bangladeshi side of the border over the last few weeks and so far, Bangladesh’s response has been rather mild. Soon after the death of the Rohingya teenager in the shelling, Bangladesh’s Foreign Ministry summoned Myanmar’s Ambassador in Dhaka Aung Kyaw Moe to protest against the shelling and the violation of Bangladesh’s airspace.

Myanmar’s ambassador blamed the Arakan Army for firing shells and bullets into the Bangladeshi side of the border. He avoided taking questions from the Bangladeshi media.

Fighting between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army is reported to have escalated in Northern Rakhine and Chin states since early August.

“We lodged a strong protest note against the violations of air and land space and warned Myanmar that such actions should not be repeated,” Rear Admiral (retired) Khurshed Alam, secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said. Pointing out that “the conflict between Arakan Army and Myanmar military” is an “internal matter” of Myanmar and how Myanmar chose to “solve it” was up to that country, he stressed that shells falling into Bangladesh was not acceptable.

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