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Bangladesh summons Myanmar envoy over border tensions

Bangladesh authorities say deployment of additional troops on border by Myanmar violates norms

By Mutasim Billah
March 1, 2018

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh on Thursday summoned Myanmar's ambassador and handed him a protest note over deployment of additional forces at its border where thousands of Rohingya refugees are camped, local media reported.

Khurshed Alam, acting foreign secretary, summoned Ambassador U Lwin Oo at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday afternoon, local Daily Star reported.

He told the ambassador that such a move was not good for bilateral relations, the report added.

A top official of the Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) said during a news conference in capital Dhaka that the deployment of additional troops violated border norms.

Brig. Gen. Mujibur Rahman, the deputy director for BGB, said they had asked Myanmar authorities the "reasons which prompted them to mobilize their troops," local news agency UNB reported.

More than 750,000 refugees, mostly children and women, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, when Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community, according to the Amnesty International.

Another 6,500 refugees are living in a buffer zone between the two countries, also dubbed as 'no man's land'.

At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.

In a report published on December 12, 2017, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of five.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a repatriation deal for the refugees earlier this year, but authorities in Myanmar have refused to allow any international body including the UN to oversee the process.

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