Arakan Army behind firing at border, says Myanmar envoy to Bangladesh

File photo.

Myanmar Ambassador to Bangladesh, Aung Kyaw Moe, today blamed Arakan Army for landing shells and bullets in Bangladesh part of the border, when the foreign ministry today summoned him for the fourth time in a month.

"We lodged a strong protest note against the violations of air and land space, and warned Myanmar that such actions should not be repeated," Rear Admiral (Retd) Khurshed Alam, secretary of Maritime Affairs Unit of the foreign ministry, told reporters at the foreign ministry.

Najmul Huda, director general for the Southeast Asia wing of the ministry, summoned Moe to hand the protest note, two days after mortar shells fired from the Myanmar side killed a Rohingya youth and injured several others in No man's land near Tumbru of Naikhongchhari of Bandarban.

Since the middle of August, tensions have been brewing across the border with Myanmar and security experts say these are clear violations of international rule and a repeat of what happened in 2017-18.

"We said the conflict between Arakan Army and Myanmar military is your internal matter. How you solve it, is up to you. No mortar shells or bullets should land on our side. You have to take responsibility for that," Khurshed Alam said.

The Myanmar envoy was told that Bangladesh is a responsible and peace-loving state and has been holding patience despite the repeated violation of air and land space.

The official said Dhaka is doing what it can in diplomatic ways but it should not be considered as a weakness of the country.

He said the foreign ministry may brief the ASEAN ambassadors in Dhaka about Myanmar's repeated violation of international rules.

Asked about Myanmar ambassador's response, Khurshed Alam said Aung Kywn Moe did not make any clear statement, but added that he would inform Dhaka's concerns to Naypyidaw so they can take effective actions.

However, he said the mortar shells and bullets landing in Bangladesh side may be of the Arakan Army.

Asked about Dhaka's response when Myanmar ambassador blamed Arakan Army, Khurshed Alam said whatever and whoever may cause it, Myanmar had to take responsibility. However, as of now, it is not ascertained who actually was responsible.

Meanwhile, an inter-ministerial meeting was held on the tense situation in the Bangladesh-Myanmar border near Tumbru. The officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, home, disaster management, BGB, Coastguards were present.

"We told BGB and Coastguard to remain on high alert so that the Myanmar citizens cannot enter Bangladesh," Khurshed Alam said.


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