Border guard forces tighten security along the Naf River

UN Resident Coordinator Ms Renata Dessallien says no credible evidence of rapes or human rights abuses by troops found. 

Myanmar border guard forces patrol along the Naf River. Photo: MNA
Myanmar border guard forces patrol along the Naf River. Photo: MNA

Following the 9 October violent attacks on border guard posts in northern Rakhine state, Myanmar border guard forces have boosted patrols on full alert with watercraft along the Naf River at the country’s western border in an effort to heighten security and reduce illegal migration, arms smuggling, drug trafficking and illegal fishing.
Border forces have been conducting area clearance operations along the 32-mile river while cooperating with border guard forces of Bangladesh, said an officer of the Pass of Entry and Exit (POE). The forces are also alerted for search and rescue operations.
Border guard forces have also stopped and searched boats in the river for suspected violent attackers and handed them over to police stations to take action against them under the law.
“For aggressive attackers not to sever communication including river routes, security arrangements were increased,” said Police Brig-Gen Thura San Lwin.
Following accusations of human rights abuses by security forces during the area clearance operations, diplomats recently visited Rakhine state.
“We didn’t find alleged military rapes of women in Rakhine State”, said UN Resident Coordinator Ms Renata Dessallien at the press conference in Sittway held at the end of her two-day visit to the areas where armed violent attacks resulted in the deaths of nine police officers.
“We did not hear anything about recruitment nor rape cases in Maungtaw District following the armed attacks,” said U Shar Alaung, a local Muslim man from Maungni Village in Maungtaw.
Al Husein, a Muslim man from Myomataung Ward, Maungtaw, has blamed on joblessness and non-education for the violent attacks, saying that not respecting the rule of law due to non-education caused the deadly attacks.
“The situation here would become stable if the government created job opportunities in the future,” said Hussein.
Socio-economic sectors including education, economy, health and agriculture stopped due to the deadly armed attacks, said Dr Hla Myint of Ward 4, Maungtaw, adding that those who are living on the soil of this country should respect the law of this country.
Chris Carter, UN Senior Advisor for Rakhine, who is currently in Rakhine to provide aid to displaced people from both communities, said the UN would provide dry rations including rice, edible oil, peas and salt as humanitarian aid to families of the displaced people for four to five weeks.
The violent attacks have badly impacted the local people, and both local ethnic people and the Islamic community should respect the rule of law to prevent any form of violent attacks in the future, she added. — Thabyay

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