Myanmar violating airspace, says B’desh
DHAKA: Bangladesh has accused Myanmar of violating its air space and warned that any more “provocative acts” could have “unwarranted consequences”, raising the risk of a deterioration in relations already strained by the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from western Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, fleeing a Myanmar government offensive against insurgents that the UN has branded a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Bangladesh said Myanmar drones and helicopters had violated its air space three times — on September 10, 12 and 14 — and called in a top Myanmar embassy official in Dhaka to complain.
“Bangladesh expressed deep concern at the repetition of such acts of provocation and demanded that Myanmar takes immediate measures to ensure that such violation of sovereignty does not occur again,” the ministry said in statement. “These provocative acts may lead to unwarranted consequences.”
Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay said he did not have information about the incidents Bangladesh had complained about but Myanmar had denied an earlier accusation.
He said Myanmar would check any information that Bangladesh provided. “Our two countries are facing the refugee crisis. We need to collaborate with good understanding,” he told Reuters.
Bangladesh was already home to 400,000 Rohingya before the latest crisis erupted, when Rohingya insurgents attacked about 30 police posts and an army camp, killing a dozen people.
The Myanmar security forces and Rakhine Buddhist vigilantes responded with what rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say is a campaign of violence and arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.