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Bangladesh - February 3, 2024

Rohingya problem: Let Bangladesh get out of Chinese trap

Syed Ishtiaq Reza : There is little news from junta-ruled Myanmar. There are also many questions about the authenticity of what is found. However, recently, the news of the conflict and war between the rebel Arakan Army and the Junta forces has been coming on a large scale. Many media outlets in Bangladesh are making headlines that Arakar Army’s victory in Rakhine state, the junta is on the run.
The situation in Myanmar is changing very fast. The military is losing control of the area one by one. Rebel groups are declaring victory. One of the most powerful of these groups is the Arakan Army. The Arakan Army is fighting for the independence of the Rakhine region. However, the conflict has spread to Bandarban and some other provinces of Myanmar including China. Rohingya camp residents in Bangladesh say that the situation in Rakhine has become very fragile. There are reports that Rohingya settlements are being regularly set on fire amid the fighting.
This situation inside Myanmar has created a security risk for Bangladesh. Mortar shells and bullets are coming regularly in the border area. Bangladesh has therefore strengthened security along the border by land and sea. Because the fighting between the army and the insurgents in Rakhine is affecting the population across the border. Even though the conflict has been going on inside Myanmar for seven decades, the junta government has to gain momentum to stop this conflict.
Will this internal war in Myanmar again bring Rohingya to Bangladesh? This question has emerged in the civil society and public sphere of Bangladesh. The Rohingya population is being killed in massive clashes between the Arakan Army and the Myanmar Army in Rakhine. Rohingya settlements are also burning due to shelling and shelling from both sides. As a result, the repatriation process of Rohingyas from Bangladesh will be slowed down, as well as the influx of Rohingyas into Bangladesh.
In 2017, the military junta pushed most of the Rohingya towards Bangladesh. But there are still about five or six million Rohingyas. All quarters fear that many Rohingya are trying to enter Bangladesh in the current war situation. Even if the flood does not subside like in 2017, new Rohingyas may come. According to the Bangladesh government, the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) is on alert to prevent the arrival of Rohingyas in the emerging situation.
We do not know how much BGB can do. But one such warning was needed in 2017. Only the government knows what the border was hoping for when it was opened like flood water. On August 25, 2017, thousands of Rohingyas suddenly started coming towards Bangladesh and it eventually turned into millions. Women, men and children bring with them stories of unspeakable torture. More than 11 lakh 18 thousand Rohingyas take shelter in 34 camps of Ukhia in Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf, which has increased by almost 2 lakh in the last 7 years.
The situation of the Rohingyas will depend on which way the renewed war goes. However, repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh seems to have become more difficult. A cease-fire was sometimes proposed with the help of China, but it was of little use. After a recent meeting with Bangladesh’s foreign minister, the Chinese ambassador tried to tell reporters that a ceasefire in Rakhine might pave the way for Rohingya repatriation. But how sincerely China wants to solve the problem and since China’s support is towards Myanmar, there is some doubt about China’s desire.
Rohingya camps in Teknaf have become arenas for criminals. Killing and killing in conflicts among themselves is a regular occurrence. The law and order forces on duty there have to get very fast to control them. As the process of repatriation of Rohingyas is delayed, crime is increasing. The local residents of Cox’s Bazar are in a panic. The Rohingyas, who were given shelter by showing humanity, are now the people’s throats. In this situation, if the Rohingyas start coming to Bangladesh again, it will create a terrible situation.
Rohingyas can create any kind of problem for Bangladesh at any time. It does not seem that the repatriation of the Rohingya will take place only through Chinese mediation. China wants to see this problem as Bangladesh’s problem with Myanmar. But this is clearly an international problem. Repatriation will never happen if Bangladesh cannot get out of this Chinese trap. China is the biggest supporter of Myanmar’s junta. Bangladesh has not taken any position on the Rohingya issue. Bangladesh has not given any economic support to keep the Rohingya in the same way that America or European countries are doing. Bangladesh will take a firm stand on the Rohingya issue that no one will be allowed to enter. And at the same time think that China will come out of the repatriation structure, this is the big hope now.
Author: Editor-in-Chief, Global Television.

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