The US embassy has made it clear that US assistant secretary Donald Lu did not indicate any timeframe for revoking the sanction on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
However, he praised the authorities for reduction in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
"During his meetings in Dhaka, assistant secretary Lu did not indicate a timeframe for the removal of RAB sanctions,” said the spokesman for the US mission in Dhaka, Jeff Ridenour, on Tuesday.
He also said, “We applaud the government of Bangladesh's efforts in these continued reforms and encourage it to conduct independent investigations of alleged extrajudicial killings.”
Lu, the US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, held meetings with government officials and civil society members during his two-day Dhaka trip this week.
While talking to the media, Lu unequivocally praised the tremendous progress in the area of reducing extrajudicial killings by the RAB and termed the improvement as ‘amazing work.’
He also said the improvement shows that the elite force is able to carry out important counter-terrorism and law enforcement functions while respecting human rights.
Later, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal claimed Donald Lu indicated that the sanctions would be removed once Bangladesh continues working to improve the human rights situation surrounding the RAB, but gave no time frame.
“We think and hope the sanctions will be removed very soon,” the home minister said.
The embassy's clarification came on the heels of a controversy over the issue.