Bangladesh warns Myan­mar over bor­der amid refugee cri­sis

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

DHAKA: Bangladesh has ac­cused Myan­mar of re­peat­edly 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 United Na­tions 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 it had 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 late on Fri­day.

“These provoca­tive acts may lead to un­war­ranted con­se­quences.”

A Myan­mar govern­ment spokesman said he did not have in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dents Bangladesh had com­plained about but Myan­mar had de­nied an ear­lier ac­cu­sa­tion.

The spokesman, Zaw Htay, said Myan­mar would check any in­for- ma­tion that Bangladesh pro­vided.

“At this time, our two coun­tries are fac­ing the refugee cri­sis. We need to col­lab­o­rate with good un­der­stand­ing,” Zaw Htay said.

Bangladesh has for decades faced in­fluxes of Ro­hingya flee­ing per­se­cu­tion in Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity Myan­mar, where the Ro­hingya are re­garded as il­le­gal mi­grants and de­nied cit­i­zen­ship.

Bangladesh was al­ready home to 400,000 Ro­hingya be­fore the lat­est cri­sis erupted on Au­gust 25, when Ro­hingya in­sur­gents at­tacked about 30 po­lice posts and an army camp, killing a dozen peo­ple.

The Myan­mar se­cu­rity forces re­sponded with what rights monitors and flee­ing Ro­hingya say is a cam­paign of vi­o­lence and ar­son aimed at driv­ing out the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion.

Reuters -

CON­FLICT: Ro­hingya refugees wait un­der open sky, pend­ing the ar­rival of tent sup­plies in Tek­naf, Bangladesh on Fri­day.

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