Give us a single example of rights violation: Army chief

General SM Shafiuddin AhmedISPR

Army chief General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed said, “Bangladesh Army has carried out duties in 43 peacekeeping missions and more than 6,000 peacekeepers are currently deployed in various missions. Could you give us a single example from any mission where we violated disciplines or human rights?”

“We have carried out duties in many regions including Africa, Asia and Europe. Have you ever found any allegation of human rights violations against us?” he added.

General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed made these remarks in reply to queries from journalists after attending the 12th annual general meeting of the Asia-Pacific Peace Operations Training Centers (AAPTC) at Rajendrapur Cantonment, Gazipur on Monday.

Referring to German media Deutsche Welle’s documentary on Bangladesh Army personnel in UN peacekeeping missions, the army chief said, “Today, some people produced a report and tried to say that several personnel of the forces violated human rights while they were posted in other organisations. It is just hearsay. Even if it happened really, had we been informed about this?”

What is happening in reality and what they have tried to say are two completely different things, Shafiuddin Ahmed opined.

The army chief said, “Many of our officers and soldiers are posted on deputation in various places, but if they got involved in any crime there and if receive allegation, we will place them on trial and take necessary action. We have investigated all the allegations that we have received so far, and we have punished those who have been found to be guilty.”

The documentary was produced with a motive, the army chief said adding, “They expressed frustration in the documentary on why UN headquarters took no step. The UN headquarters will take action only when they will find evidence against us. We have issued a rejoinder against such a biased and motivated report.”

The AAPTC is an entity conformed with the centres and the government institutions of the Asia-Pacific region dedicated mainly to training and educating members of national armed forces and security forces and civilian personnel appointed to participate in peace keeping operations under UN mandate.