Bangladesh and Myanmar Junta Agree to Tackle Border ‘Terrorism’

By Muktadir Rashid   30 November 2022

Dhaka – Bangladesh and Myanmar have reportedly agreed to tackle border “terrorist” groups, share intelligence and hold joint patrols to end crime and maintain peace.

“We will start joint patrols very shortly,” Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) chief Major General Shakil Ahmed told the Dhaka media on Tuesday after returning from Naypyitaw.

He said the security situation in Rakhine State is improving following last week’s truce between the Arakan Army (AA) and the junta.

A Bangladeshi source said the junta was in talks at the same time last week with the AA and the delegation from Dhaka.

Shakil met Major General Aung Naing Thu, deputy chief of the regime’s police force, who reportedly urged coordinated border patrols to counter threats from “terrorist groups”.

Shakil expressed grave concerns over border security and urged his counterpart to act.

Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) commander Ataullah abu Ammar Jununi was purportedly discussed at the talks.

ARSA was accused of killing Bangladeshi Directorate General of Forces Intelligence officer Rizwan Rushdee and injuring others during an anti-smuggling operation on the border on November 14. ARSA has not commented on the incident.

“It is not only ARSA or RSO [the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation]…we will not tolerate any terrorist activities on our soil,” Shakil said.

Bangladesh underlined its zero-tolerance policy on sheltering insurgents or separatists from its neighbors.

A BGB statement said the two sides agreed to share real-time information on “miscreants or terrorist groups”, drones and any firing along the border.

A Rohingya child was killed and many others injured in shelling and gunfire from junta operations against the AA between August and October.

Shakil said he was convinced the Rakhine security would improve as long as the ceasefire between the junta and AA lasted.

He highlighted the need for joint efforts to curb drug smuggling and other trafficking from Myanmar.

Shakil said he handed the junta a list of yabba or methamphetamine factories in Myanmar and added that Myanmar faces a similar drugs menace.

The Bangladeshi delegation reiterated concerns about the Rohingya and called for their repatriation to Rakhine.

Bangladesh’s concerns about landmines and the electrification of the border fence were also raised. Shakil said the junta delegation claimed it had not planted mines and the fence was only electrified in crime-prone areas.

“We have offered assistance to remove it,” Shakil said.