Rights vi­o­la­tion con­tinue: UN

Southasia - - Briefing -

Are­cent study by UN Rap­por­teur Lars-An­ders Baer found an ex­ten­sive mil­i­tary pres­ence and land dis­putes in the Chit­tagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh. The Chit­tagong Hill Tracts Peace Ac­cord has yet to be fully im­ple­mented, with hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions con­tin­u­ing more than a decade af­ter it was signed in De­cem­ber 1997, the re­port stated.

The ac­cord ended a 25-year low-in­ten­sity guer­rilla war be­tween 11 in­dige­nous groups and the gov­ern­ment and was in­tended to es­tab­lish self-gov­er­nance in this south­east­ern part of Bangladesh, home to half a mil­lion peo­ple.

The study states that “gross hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions” con­tinue, in­clud­ing “ar­bi­trary ar­rests, tor­ture, ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings, ha­rass­ment of rights ac­tivists and sex­ual ha­rass­ment.”

The re­port also stated that even though most in­ter­na­tional refugees had been repa­tri­ated and re­ha­bil­i­tated, no prac­ti­cal steps have been taken to re­ha­bil­i­tate the in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons who had fled the in­sur­gency ar­eas. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, a third of Bangladesh’s army is de­ployed in the CHT - an “un­usu­ally high num­ber” for an area that com­prises just a tenth of the coun­try’s ter­ri­tory.

The study rec­om­mends that the gov­ern­ment cre­ate a time­line for im­ple­ment­ing all re­main­ing pro­vi­sions of the ac­cord, warn­ing that fail­ure to do so could lead to re­newed po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity and eth­nic con­flict in the re­gion.

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