Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan
File photo

Amid the tension over shelling from Myanmar along Bandarban border, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said Bangladesh does not want a war with Myanmar and the country wants to solve problems through talks and if need be, it may go to the United Nations.

Asaduzzaman Khan made the remarks while speaking to newspersons after a programme organised by Dhaka Ahsania Mission in capital on Saturday.

Intermittent firing has been taking place between Myanmar’s armed group Arakan Army and the country’s security forces in Rakhine state on the other side of Ghumdhum border in Bandarban’s Naikhyangchhari for over a month. Noise of firing was heard from this side of the border as of Saturday afternoon.

A mortar shell fired from the top of a hill in Rakhine state fell on zero line opposite of Tombru border on Friday, killing a Rohingya child and injuring five others.

Replying to queries from journalists on the situation on the border after Saturday’s programme, the home minister said, “Artillery has landed in our territory and we have strongly protested it. Talks are on with them and we have made our stance clear. Our prime minister never wants a war; we want peaceful solution. Their internal conflict should remain within their border. We have always protested anything beyond that.”

A member of Border Guard Police (BGP) patrols near the barbed wire fence in the Myanmar side of border while two Rohingya children look on. The picture was taken from the zero line along Tombru border in Ghundhum of Bandarban’s Naikhongchhari on 6 September 2022.

“We don’t a war. We are trying for a peaceful solution and our effort will continue to this end. We may place this issue to the United Nations from our side and we will do everything we can,” he added.

Referring to talks held with Myanmar at various times, Asaduzzaman Khan said, “Myanmar never keeps their word. We are trying everything including bilateral and multilateral efforts and our effort will continue.”

“Some 1.2 million Rohingyas have taken shelter here and we want them to be repatriated peacefully and we are trying for this,” he added.

Citing problems of various ethnic minority groups in Myanmar, Asaduzzaman Khan said, “Recently, we have seen battle continuing in Myanmar not only with Rohingyas but also with many ethnic minorities. Battle is on along the Thailand, China, India’s Mizoram borders as well as our border.”

“We have noticed Myanmar forces fighting with rebel group Arakan Army. We see sometimes their relations is good or sometimes it turns into a war-like situation. They know what the mystery is and their war should stay within their territory,” he added.