BlackHouse, Sep. 08 – Bangladesh lodged a formal complaint against Myanmar.
Dhaka lodged a formal complaint against Myanmar for laying landmines across its border with Bangladesh. Bangladeshi government says the landmines are planted to prevent the Rohingya refugees from returning to Myanmar’s soil.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque has confirmed to media that the complaint has been lodged. Bangladesh has faxed an objection note to Myanmar, saying that implantation of landmines is in violation of international laws.
Sources claim that informers’ statements and photographic evidence proved Bangladesh of existing landmines in some areas of the border. “They are putting the landmines in their territory along the barbed-wire fence,” said one of the government sources.
“Our forces have also seen three to four groups working near the barbed wire fence, putting something into the ground. We then confirmed with our informers that they were laying landmines,” add a source.
Myanmar military claimed the landmines were planted in the 1990s to stop trespassers and that it had attempted to remove them. The military denied the allegations of planting landmines in recent days.
A Bangladeshi border guard officer, Manzurul Hassan Khan, told Reuters that on Tuesday, two explosions were heard from Myanmar’s side. He added that a Rohingya boy’s leg was blown off that day when he was crossing the border and another had endured minor injuries. They had clearly walked on landmines, he said.
A Rohingya refugee went to blasts site on Monday and filmed a 10cm metal disc which was partially apparent in the mud. Near the site, there was a footpath where Rohingyas used to cross the other side, but the refugees were gathered together in a “no man’s land” not having any options.
Other Rohingya refugees also reported army activity near the blast site on Monday.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s spokesman Zaw Htay was not available to comment on the allegations immediately. He later told Reuters: “where did it explode, who can go there and who laid those landmines. Who can surely say those mines were not laid by the terrorists?”
Myanmar is not a part of the 1997 UN Mine Ban Treaty. The Buddhist-governed country is one of the most heavily mined counties in the world.
Thaung Tun, the Myanmar national security advisor, in a news conference in capital city of Naypyitaw, asked China and Russia to stop United Nations from investigating the Rohingya crisis. China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“We are negotiating with some friendly countries not to take it to the Security Council. China is our friend and we have a similar friendly relationship with Russia, so it will not be possible for that issue to go forward,” said Thaung Tun.