Naikhon Chari,Bangladesh: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) removed at least 39 land mines from Bangladesh-Burma border pillar No. 44, nearby Kachubunia village in Naikhong Chari of Bandarban district, according to BGB’s December 29 information.
“The newly formed Myanmar border force had been planting land mines along the Zero Point of the border for the last one week, violating international border rules,” the information stated.
Recently, a team of Myanmar border guards (Hluntin and police) conducted a survey of 200 points along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, according to a border force movement watch.
The Myanmar forces started mine planting without informing to the Bangladesh side on December 10, after the survey ended, the border force movement watch said.
On December 18, mines were planted along 30 kilometers of the Ashattoli border in Naikhong Chari as the border villagers informed it to the BGB Battalion No. 31.
Iqbal Chowdhury, a local of Naikhong Chari told that former Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) did the same thing on the border 10 years ago, causing death of many Bangladeshi woodcutters, cattle and wild elephants.
Another local named Ahmed from Dusuri – a border village – said that many poor people of Bangladesh were killed and wounded while collecting firewood from the mountain. Some people were also killed and wounded while crossing Mountain-pass.
Lt Col Shafiqur Rahman of BGB Battalion No.31 said yesterday that they found the allegations made by the Bangladesh border people was trued and already sent a strong note of protest to the Myanmar authorities on this regard.
He also confirmed that 39 mines were removed from the border. “We have reinforced border patrol in those areas,” he added.
The problem with anti-personnel mines in Burma originates from decades of armed conflict, which is still ongoing in some parts or the country. Anti-personnel mines are still being used today by the armed forces of the Government of Burma by various non-State actors (NSAs). Ten out of Burma’s 14 States and Divisions are mine contaminated. The eastern States and Divisions bordering Thailand are particularly contaminated with mines. Some areas bordering Bangladesh and China are also mined, and mine accidents have occurred there.