Bangladesh troops begin pullout from Chittagong hills

Last Updated: Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 21:31

Dhaka: Bangladesh has begun withdrawal of
its temporary Army camps from the south-eastern Chittagong
Hill Tracts, dominated by Buddhist tribals, to implement a
peace accord signed in 1997.

Two camps established in 1988 in Khagrachhari and
Rangamati were dismantled yesterday to ensure security in
nearby areas, the Daily Star reported.

The Sheikh Hasina government on July 29 announced that
it will pull out one brigade troops and 35 temporary security
camps from the region by this September.

The region is dominated by Buddhist tribals but a large
population of Bengali Muslims settlers also occupy the place.

The land used for the camps was returned to its original
owners after giving a sum of Taka 2,000 each a month as rent,
the zone`s Acting Commander Major Mamunur Rashid was quoted as
saying.

However, the Army is entitled to use the land until 2011
as per the agreement and the owners are not allowed to
construct anything.

Around 10 other temporary camps under Khagrachhari
brigade of the Army will be withdrawn in phases, the paper
said quoting sources.

Under the peace accord, the government is supposed to
withdraw all military camps and security forces from CHT
except the three cantonments.

The region witnessed an armed struggle against efforts
to settle Bengalis culminating in the 1997 peace accord.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, August 8, 2009 - 21:31

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