Bangladesh deploys more border guards as Myanmar erects fence

March 18th, 2009 - 12:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 18 (IANS) Bangladesh has deployed more troopers of its border guards after Myanmar moved men and material for erecting a barbed wire fence along a 200-km border between the two countries.
The move indicates fresh tension after the stand-off in the Bay of Bengal between the two neighbours in November last year, New Age newspaper said Wednesday.

Dhaka has made diplomatic moves and has refrained from saying anything provocative.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni refused to comment. “I do not like to voice any opinion now. We will firm up our stance after considering the situation,” she told the media Tuesday.

Foreign Secretary Mohammed Touhid Hossain and Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder told New Age that they had not received any information about Myanmar’s move to erect a fence along the border.

Home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder said that the Bangladesh Coast Guard and the deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar in south-eastern region had told him that a fresh contingent of troops had been mobilised across the Naaf river that forms the international border at some points.

Myanmar was starting construction of infrastructure for them, not erecting a fence, the official said.

Myanmar started deploying additional forces and stocking materials to fence the frontier that stretches from Nainkhiongchhari upazila of Bandarban hill district since March 14 without the consent of Bangladesh, which is a violation of a bilateral accord, said an official of BDR’s 15th Battalion that is stationed there.

The foreign ministry official indicated that Bangladesh has no objection to the barbed-wire fence if it is built solely on Myanmar’s territory, since it would curb smuggling and trespassing.

However, Bangladesh claims Myamnar is doing so “unilaterally”, on no-man’s land.

Bangladesh has over the years had similar problem with India, its neighbour with which it has a 4,000 km long border.

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