Tension in Rakhine, BGB remains alert on border 

The BGB members are vigilantly observing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in TeknafFile photo

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen stated that Bangladesh is closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar. In response to the escalating tension in Rakhine, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is vigilantly observing the border to prevent any infiltration into Bangladesh. 

He made these remarks after a meeting of the National Task Force on Rohingya issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

During the meeting, there was an emphasis on taking immediate action as the government aims to prevent the exploitation of Rohingyas in the upcoming 12th parliamentary elections.

After the meeting, the foreign secretary informed news persons that the government has been maintaining a vigilant stance to ensure that no one can manipulate Rohingyas to meet their ulterior motives in the upcoming elections.

Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen mentioned, “We have been receiving reports of some tensions in Rakhine since 13 November. Sounds of gunfire or mortar shell fires have been heard in the border area. In some cases, not only the Rohingya but people from other communities, who may feel insecure due to the shelling or similar conditions, could also sporadically or individually may try to cross into Bangladesh. We have put our Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) on high alert. They are keeping a watchful eye and will continue doing so.”

Describing the situation as somewhat improved, the foreign secretary stated that the Myanmar army had an agreement with the Arakan Army in Rakhine province, leading to a ceasefire. However, for some reason, there have been minor tensions, which were not present before.

Regarding the concern of Rohingyas being exploited for different purposes during the elections, Secretary Masud bin Momen emphasised, “We are definitely keeping an eye to ensure that no one there can take any opportunity by using the land of Bangladesh. We have zero tolerance in this regard.”

He further explained that the groups within the Rohingya camps do not adhere to any particular ideology, with most engaging in extortion or terrorist activities. The capacity of the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) has been enhanced within the camp.

The foreign secretary mentioned ongoing efforts to prepare for repatriation, stating, “Hopefully, if the security situation in Myanmar comes under control, we can start repatriation soon. There should be no deficiency in our preparation.”