Bangladesh today expressed concern at the loss of innocent lives in clashes following recent deployment of forces in Ratheedaung-Buthidaung areas in Rakhine state and urged Myanmar authorities to ensure protection of the unarmed civilians there.
The concern was expressed when Charge d’affaires of Myanmar Embassy in Dhaka met the Secretary (Asia & Pacific) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mahbub Uz Zaman this afternoon at the foreign ministry to discuss the evolving situation in the Rakhine State.
“Bangladesh condemned the attacks on Myanmar forces and expressed concern at the loss of innocent lives in those clashes that occurred following recent deployment of forces in Ratheedaung-Buthidaung areas,” according to a foreign ministry statement issued here after the meeting.
Recalling the influx of Myanmar nationals into Bangladesh due to similar military operations in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in October last year, the Secretary informed that thousands of unarmed civilians including women, children and elderly people from the Rakhine State have assembled close to the border and are making attempts to enter Bangladesh.
He expressed serious concern at the possibility of recurrence of such a situation as Bangladesh already hosts about four hundred thousand of Myanmar nationals, the statement said.
“Bangladesh stressed on the need for respecting the state responsibility to protect its civilian population and urged Myanmar to ensure appropriate protection and shelter for the unarmed civilians especially the vulnerable segments of the population such as women, children and elderly people,” it read.
Following her policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards violent extremism and terrorism of any form and manifestation, Bangladesh assured Myanmar of continued cooperation in dealing with these challenges.
Bangladesh also pointed out that the terrorist attack and clashes occurred at a time when the Rakhine Advisory Commission, popularly known as Kofi Annan Commission, made recommendations towards durable solution for the Rakhine State, it said.
During the meeting, the Secretary (Asia & Pacific) also emphasized on addressing the underlying root cause of the protracted problem through a comprehensive and inclusive approach, it added.