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Dhaka protests Naypyidaw’s claim of insurgents’ existence in Bangladesh

  • Published at 08:04 pm January 9th, 2019
WEB_Arakan Salvation Army_AFP_Edited_09.01.2018
This photo taken on September 26, 2017 shows a Rohingya refugee who said he was a member of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar AFP

Myanmar President’s Office spokesperson U Zaw Htay claimed that Arakan Army and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) set up two and three bases inside Bangladesh territory

Dhaka on Wednesday strongly protested the remarks by a spokesperson of Myanmar President's Office, who claimed there are five bases of Rohingya insurgents inside Bangladesh territory.

This Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) statement was issued after some media reports based on remarks by the spokesperson on Monday.

"Bangladesh strongly protests such baseless and provocative accusations. The current clashes are the outcome of Myanmar own political and social dilemma," reads a MoFA-issued press statement.

It also says: "As such, it'll be highly appreciated by the government of Bangladesh if the Myanmar government doesn't make any endeavour to associate Bangladesh with her internal political puzzle."

"The allegations are totally fake and baseless. It's not possible to operate terrorist bases anywhere in Bangladesh because of high alertness and effective preventive measures by security forces in the line with ‘zero tolerance policy’ of the present government of Bangladesh," reads the statement.

"Bangladesh is also firmly committed not to allowing its soil to be used by any dissident group of any neighbouring country. The government has taken all possible measures, including compressive international engagements in counter-terrorism to fully implement the commitment," the MoFA statement notes.

"We affirm that there's no existence of any foreign terrorist groups within Bangladesh nor Bangladesh is harbouring any terrorist organization within its soil. Security forces of Bangladesh alongside border always remain vigilant to prevent any untoward incidents that may affect the existing peaceful relation between neighbors," it says.

Myanmar President’s Office spokesperson U Zaw Htay at a press conference on Monday claimed that Arakan Army and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), two Rohingya insurgent groups set up two and three bases inside Bangladesh territory.

According to U Zaw Htay, top brass of both insurgents group met in Ramu in July last year, allegedly to discuss the groups’ respective areas of control within Myanmar.

Citing an unconfirmed source, the spokesperson also claimed that both groups’ have high stakes in illegal drug trafficking in Bangladesh.  

U Zaw Htay also said his government has lodged a complaint with Bangladesh over the issue, which MoFA claims is not the case.

The MoFA statement says Myanmar brushed off multiple proposals from Bangladesh to conduct joint operation in addressing alleged militant activities along the border area. 

Even Myanmar failed to provide Bangladesh with specific details and concrete evidence on the alleged terrorist elements and acts, adds the statement.