The foreign ministry has held talks with the Myanmar envoy in Dhaka and expressed “serious concern” over the situation in Rakhine state.
The chargé d’affaires of Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka, Aung Myint, met Mahbub Uz Zaman, secretary (Asia & Pacific) of the foreign ministry, on Saturday afternoon at the latter’s office to discuss the evolving situation in the Rakhine state, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Rohingya refugees have attempted to flee across the border into Bangladesh since Friday after insurgents attacked 30 police posts in the border state of Rakhine and killed 12 Myanmar security personnel. Seventy-seven insurgents have been reportedly killed in the attacks.
Several thousand Rohingyas are currently occupying a four-mile stretch on the shore of the Naf River in Cox’s Bazar’s Ukhia, awaiting decisions from Bangladesh authorities.
Bangladesh hosts hundreds of thousands of Rohingya for long. Myanmar authorities denied their citizenship. The word ‘Rohingya’ is not used in the diplomatic exchanges.
The foreign ministry said Bangladesh has taken note of renewed clashes, and “condemned” the attacks on Myanmar forces and expressed “concern” at the loss of innocent lives in those clashes that occurred following the recent deployment of forces in Ratheedaung-Buthidaung areas.
During the meeting with the envoy, Zaman recalled the influx of Myanmar nationals into Bangladesh due to a similar military crackdown in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on October 9 last year that forced about 85,000 civilians to cross over to Bangladesh.
The secretary said thousands of unarmed civilians including women, children and elderly people from the Rakhine state have assembled on the border in an attempt to enter Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has expressed ‘serious concern’ at the possibility of the recurrence of such a situation as Bangladesh already hosts about 400,000 Myanmar nationals, the foreign ministry said.
Bangladesh also stressed the need for respecting the state responsibility to protect its civilians.
The foreign ministry also assured Myanmar of continued cooperation in dealing with these challenges, following its policy of ‘zero tolerance’ for violent extremism and terrorism.
Bangladesh also pointed out that the terrorist attacks and clashes occurred at a time when the Rakhine Advisory Commission, popularly known as Kofi Annan Commission, made recommendations toward a durable solution for the Rakhine state.