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Diplomatic - February 11, 2024

Tension continues in BD-Myanmar border

As Arakan Army takes control

Enayet Karim: Tensions in the Ghumdhum-Tamburu border area of Bangladesh’s Bandarban district have eased on Friday after continuous clashes for the past few days.However, after this conflict, the Arakan Army took control of Rakhine State on Tuesday. As a result, military patrol posts along the Myanmar border with Bangladesh are now staffed by members of the Arakan Army, which is essentially an insurgent group.
In such a situation, security analysts believe that the Bangladesh government has to take very careful steps in this area.They say that no action can be taken to send the wrong message to Myanmar’s junta government.
Security analyst Major (Retd.) Imdadul Islam thinks that Bangladesh has no other option but to close this border militarily. Armed Arakan Army personnel were seen guarding the border at various border walls in the Ghumdhum-Tamburu border area on Thursday.There was no presence of the army of Myanmar’s junta government. According to a February 7 report in the Myanmar newspaper Irrawaddy, the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine armed group, captured the headquarters of two junta military units in the state’s Minbiya city on February 6, after months of attacks.
On the same day, the Arakan Army captured the Tong Pio patrol post in Mangdu town on the border with Bangladesh.In addition, clashes continued in Mrauk-U, Kyauktao, Minbia, Ramri, An and Maibon areas in northern Rakhine until Tuesday.
What is state of border?
Bandarban Deputy Commissioner Shah Mojahid Uddin told that the situation at the Tambru border has become calmer than before.The panic among the local residents has subsided somewhat and they have started returning to their homes. Asked if any additional measures have been taken inside the Bangladesh border after the military outposts in Myanmar were taken over by the Arakan Army, he said, the Bangladeshi border guard force BGB has so far “been patient and made all kinds of preparations.”He did not want to give any more information about this.
It is known that the number of troops deployed in the border area by Bangladesh Border Guard Force has been slightly increased than before, but it is not much.
In a press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh on Thursday, it was informed that the communication has been continued keeping a watchful eye so that the people, resources or sovereignty of Bangladesh are not threatened in any way in the ongoing conflict in Myanmar. There are reports that the insurgents are advancing beyond the area adjacent to the Ghumdhum-Tamburu border towards the south i.e. towards the Teknaf border of Bangladesh.
Due to the conflict inside Myanmar, all tourist ships on the border Teknaf-Saint Martin route have been suspended since February 10.It will remain closed until further notice. The border is closed While security analysts differ on what Bangladesh’s border management should look like when the Arakan Army occupies the Myanmar part of the Ghumdhum-Tamburu border, they largely agree on one thing.And that is, Bangladesh does not have much to do in the short term.Because the conflict is still inside the border of Myanmar. They say, right now, Bangladesh should close the conflict border militarily.
Security analyst Air Commodore (retd) Ishfaq Elahi Chowdhury said that business and passenger traffic from Bangladesh will be closed now.Because they are no immigration or customs in the Myanmar part now.They are now occupied by the Arakan Army. Communication can continue in the area outside of this. “Because the border can’t remain closed indefinitely.We have Rohingyas, there are more Rohingyas left on the other side.There may be an informal relationship between them.”
He said, until this crisis is resolved, there will be a deadlock on the border of Bangladesh and naturally trade and communication with Myanmar through that border area will be stopped. Referring to Teknaf border Mr.Islam said the border will remain open as long as there are government officials there to oversee Myanmar government business and immigration.After that, if the situation breaks down and there is no official, then everything including the border should be closed. Civil Defense Local residents have already been evacuated from the border areas.
However, security analyst Major (retd) Imdadul Islam believes that this is not possible in the long run. Mr.Islam said that he does not think that the conflict that has started in Rakhine state will end soon.

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