Rights violation continue: UN
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.