DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Bangladesh and Myanmar will jointly work to remove the landmines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) reportedly planted by separatist groups along the border.
Bangladesh and Myanmar will jointly work to remove the landmines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) reportedly planted by separatist groups along the border. Brig Gen Md Anisur Rahman, additional director general of Border Guard Bangladesh, made the remarks on the concluding day of the six-day border conference between BGB and Myanmar Police Force (MPF) in the capital yesterday. "The mines and IEDs are buried along the border, and we will not be able to go to some certain places,” said Anisur while addressing a press briefing at the BGB headquarters in the capital's Pilkhana. He said both countries already agreed to take necessary steps to remove the mines and IEDs for avoiding casualties and establishing a good border management. When the BGB official was asked how many people had been injured or killed in the IED or mine explosions and who were the separatist groups, he told journalists that he could only tell after knowing the details. Terming drug smuggling on the border a high priority issue, the BGB official said both the countries would exchange information in this regard so that nobody could intrude into anybody's land and both countries would conduct anti-drug smuggling drives in their respective areas. BGB also handed over to Myanmar a list of 49 yaba factories and spots from where the drugs are smuggled into Bangladesh, he said, adding that the Myanmar authority assured them of giving priority to combating the crime. The conference began on April 1. A six-member Bangladesh delegation, led by Anisur, took part in the programme while Brig Gen Myo Swe Win, chief of police general staff of MPF, led his six-member team. Rohingya issue was also briefly discussed. Anisur said they expressed concern as a huge number of Rohingyas entered Bangladesh recently. Myanmar police informed them that the situation was now stable and normal in Maungdaw, a place in Rakhine state where Myanmar army launched a crackdown on Rohingyas, and many of them entered Bangaldesh following the crackdown, he said. The BGB official further said if any emergency situation arose, both sides would take necessary steps after sharing information to stop such illegal trespassing. Asked whether any discussion was held over taking back Rohingyas, he said it was beyond their jurisdiction. After the conference, BGB and MPF adopted a nine-point resolution that includes seeking permission for entering each other's territory. Besides, border security forces of both countries agreed to provide legal assistance to a citizen if he or she is detained for trespassing. The BGB and MPF consented to hold the next border conference in Naypyidaw of Myanmar in November this year.