Media: The Independent
Original URL: Influx from Myanmar ‘continues’
E-paper URL: Influx from Myanmar ‘continues’
A day after Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen statement that Bangladesh has sealed off its borders with Myanmar to resist further infiltration of refugees from that country, Myanmar nationals allegedly continued to enter Bangladesh even yesterday. Buddhists from Rakhine and Khumi ethnic groups from Myanmar’s Chin state continue fleeing into Bangladesh to save their lives following fighting between Myanmar army and rebel group Arakan Army.
Since Monday, over 200 Myanmar nationals entered Bangladesh through Cheih Kaying locality of Ramakreprangsa Union under Ruma upazila of Bandarban and the flow still continues.
Chairman of Ramakreprangsa Union Parishad Eugin Tripura Mestaran acknowledged the fresh entry of Myanmar people to Bangladesh and yesterday said, “Since Monday, people are entering Bangladesh more or less every day.”
“Whenever Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) members spot Myanmar nationals, the security personnel stop them from entering Bangladesh. But, almost every day, Myanmar nationals are entering the country in small numbers evading vigilance by the border force, thanks to the area being remote,” he said.
“There are 126 Myanmar nationals in Cheih Kaying para alone and some have spread to the adjacent areas, while some are stuck in no man’s land,” added Mestaran.
The area where the infiltration has been reported is remote from Bandarban main town and there is no barbwire fencing separating the border with Myanmar. For this, vigilance in the area amounted almost to none and the Myanmar people, who entered bangladesh over the past four days, took advantage of that. However,
after the infiltration was reported, the BGB has strengthened
BGB Director Operations of Cox’s Bazar zone Lt Col Mostafizur Rahman said around 150 people were waiting at no man’s land to enter Bangladesh.
He also said the BGB has stepped up their vigilance in the area and no Myanmar people were being allowed to cross into Bangladesh.
BGB Cox’s Bazar regional commander Brigadier General Zahidur Rahman told media that they have increased vigilance in the area and sent a monitoring team for taking further
steps. Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Ruma Shamsul Alam told the independent that he has heard about the fresh entry of Myanmar people from the local union parishad chairman.
“We cannot reach the area as it very remote in the hills. The border is open there and there are no BGB posts,” said the UNO. Bandarban Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Daudul Islam also echoed the UNO and said he had no information regarding the fresh entry of Myanmar nationals in the area as it was remote.
“I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know if Myanmar people entered the country or not. It is a remote area,” said the DC. Local sources say the asylum seekers are mostly women and children in want to food, water and clothes.
Bangladesh is hosting more than one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar with its limited resources. Over 7-8 lakh Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar army unleashed a violent crackdown on them in 2017 and joined about 80,000 who entered after October, 2016. Besides, about four lakh Rohingyas have been living in Bangladesh for decades.