02/06/2024, 12.28
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Exodus of Burmese defectors to Bangladesh inflames borders

by Sumon Corraya

At least 106 Burmese paramilitary border guards fled to Bangladesh in one day due to clashes caused by the 1027 offensive in Myanmar. Shots fired on the border by the army resulted in the death of two civilians, including a Rohingya refugee. Dhaka protest with the Myanmar ambassador.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - At least 106 paramilitary border guards from Myanmar, some of them injured, fled to Bangladesh yesterday due to the intensification of fighting between rebel forces and the junta regime. This was reported by Bangladeshi officials.

Since carrying out the military coup against an elected government in 2021, the junta is facing its biggest crisis, trying to contain the rebellion called 1027 - since it started on October 27 last year - which saw allied groups anti -junta supported by a parallel pro-democracy government take control of several military posts and cities.

The sound of gunfire was heard across the border with Myanmar in the Cox's Bazar district of southeastern Bangladesh, where nearly a million members of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority live in camps of bamboo and plastic huts after being they fled military repression in 2017. Furthermore, at least two people lost their lives when mortars fired from Myanmar towards the fleeing soldiers hit a village across the border in Bangladesh. For this reason, Bangladesh protested by summoning the Myanmar ambassador to Dhaka, Aung Kyaw Moe, calling out the military junta for its actions and attacks on the border. Deputy Commissioner Shah Mujahid Uddin announced that one of the victims is a Bangladeshi woman, Hosne Ara, while the other is a 58-year-old Rohingya man, whose name is not yet known. They were killed in the Japaitali area, near the border, when a grenade fell while Ara was serving food to seasonal Rohingya workers.

Yesterday morning, Nay Pyi Taw's Minister of Foreign Affairs summoned Manowar Hossain, Bangladesh's ambassador to Yangon, to discuss the situation. During the conversation, the Myanmar minister expressed his intention to locate fugitives who sought refuge in Bangladesh and bring them back.

In the last three days, dozens and dozens of Myanmar army personnel and government officials have fled to Bangladesh to escape attacks by the Arakan Liberation Army. So far, at least 229 people have sought refuge in Bangladesh, where they have been disarmed and sheltered in a safe place. Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh is engaged in negotiations with Myanmar for the repatriation of displaced people, being already burdened by hosting over a million Rohingya refugees, it is not willing to accept further refugee influxes from Myanmar.

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