Monday, 06 July 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The Burmese Army has been constructing army camps over the last two months on the Burma-Bangladesh no man’s-land border northeast of Nasaka Area No. 1 of Maungdaw Township, said a villager who went to the construction side recently. 

The place is between border pillars number 53 and 54, northeast of Bandola Nasaka camp of Nasaka area No.1 of Maungdaw Township.  Earlier, there were no army camps or Nasaka camps on the Burma side and also there was no BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) camp on the Bangladesh side. This is a new extended Burmese Army camp on no-man’s land.

Over the last two months, about 300 villagers have been working there recruited by the army from Maung Nama village tract, Powet Chaung village tract, Bawli Bazaar village tract and Kawar Bill village tract of Maungdaw Township.

The villagers are paid Kyat 2,000 per day by the army, but Kyat 300 is cut off per day by a local labour head named Sharif, the brother-in- law of ex- village Chairman Jubair of Maung Nama village. He is a collaborator of the Nasaka Headquarters Director Lt. Col Aung Gyi, said a local trader quoting a labourer, who came recently from the construction site. 

The villagers have to cut down trees to make pillars and timber planks, cut bamboos and collect stones from streams for construction of the army barracks. It is in the northern side of Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships opposite Buthir Par (Mountain) of Bangladesh.

The army has been constructing 20 army barracks, roofed with thatches and timber flooring. There is a Mro-tribe village not far away from the new camp.

The army is also clearing bushes and building a coarse road using bulldozers connecting with Nasaka area No.1.  They (army) are also constructing a small road connecting to Plet Wa Town, which is under Chin State, which is opposite of Alikadom of Bangladesh.

Regarding the construction of the army camp near the Bangladesh border, the BDR objected recently. And the construction of army camps was temporarily stopped. Later, they continued the construction, said a labourer.

Though Bangladesh has been trying to maintain close relation with Burma, but the junta is secretly and slowly strengthing the army on the Burma-Bangladesh border, said a local elder from Bawlibazar of Maungdaw Township.