‘Rescued’ Myanmar Army Man Returns

By Muktadir Rashid   4 March 2019

DHAKA—At a flag meeting on Sunday, Border Guard Bangladesh authorities handed over the Myanmar military solider employed with their Border Guard Police 38 days after he was rescued inside Bangladesh territory.

The 28-year-old army constable, Aung Bo Bo Thein of the Myanmar Border Guard Police Branch No. 5, was handed over at an official ceremony between Border Guard Bangladesh and Myanmar Border Guard Police held at the Ghundum land border in Naikhyangchari Region of Bandarban District.

He was “rescued” on Jan. 24 in the Banhatirchhara area of the same region by the Border Guard Bangladesh who acted on information from the Myanmar side on Jan. 22, the Bangladesh officials said.

A nine-member Border Guard Bangladesh delegation led by Teknaf Border Guard battalion commanding officer Lt-Col Md Asaduzzaman held the flag meeting with Myanmar Border Guard Police Lt-Col Kyaw Win Hlaing, commanding officer of the Border Guard Battalion-34, Lt-Col Ali Haider Azad Ahmed, told The Irrawaddy over the phone.

About the delay in returning the soldier, Lt-Col Azad said the matter was taken up by the Bangladesh foreign ministry and settled with the Myanmar foreign ministry which finally led the handing over.

According to the Border Guard Bangladesh officials, the Myanmar constable became “lost while on duty” on Jan. 22 evening and was found “drunk” and wandering “aimlessly around 3.5 kilometers inside Bangladesh from the international border on the morning of Jan. 24.

Lt-Col Azad said they in principal followed the rules as prescribed by the Geneva Convention to deal with the soldier and his food, accommodation, medical treatment and other facilities were given as accordingly.

Aung Bo Bo Thein, was seen in uniform while returning with his senior officials on Sunday afternoon.

He is originally from a Yangon garrison of the Myanmar military.

A local Bangla-language daily Nayadiganta quoted Bangladesh border guard officials saying that in primary interrogations of the soldier, he expressed that he was unhappy with his army job in Myanmar.

Following his rescue, the Bangladesh border guard officials had said they would send him back “as soon as possible”, in compliance with their commitment to good relations with their Myanmar border guard counterparts.