Myanmar reopens border gate with Bangladesh as peace restores


Muslim people stand near the boat near the Border Check Point of Maungdaw town, Bangladesh-Myanmar border, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, 22 December 2016. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

Myanmar has reopened No. 1 border gate with Bangladesh which was temporarily closed following terrorist attacks on some three border posts on Oct. 9 last year, according to the State Counselor's Office Thursday. 

The border gate was reopened for entry and departure in Maungtaw, Rakhine state in the weekend due to restoration of peace and stability in the region after Myanmar negotiated with Bangladesh. 

The surprise coordinated attacks by violent armed men on three border posts in Maungtaw on Oct. 9 last year prompted the then closure of all border gates with Bangladesh for more than four months, resulting in financial hardship for local traders. 

Myanmar's Rakhine Violence Investigation Commission, which was formed on Dec. 1 and led by First Vice President U Myint Swe to probe into the background on the violent attacks, has so far inspected Maungtaw's attacked areas for four times to find out the truth. 

The armed men's attack on three border posts, namely Kyikanpyi in Maungtaw, Kotankauk in Buthedaung and Ngakhuya Office, had killed five soldiers and eight policemen . 

In the latest development, Myanmar's Sittway district court has handed out death sentence to one of the 14 captured armed men who violently attacked the three border outposts in Maungtaw. 

Uruma, also named Mammud Nu and Ular, who is charged with leading a raid on the border outpost in Kotankauk of Rathedaung and killing one police officer and injuring two others, is the first so punished in connection with the incident. 

The remaining 13 culprits are still under investigation. 

A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in Maungtaw since Oct. 10 but the curfew hours have been reduced in Maungtaw since Feb. 10 for the next two months as peace and stability were improving in the region. 

The commission was originally tasked to formally report to the president by Jan. 31 but it has been postponed as the new acquisitions concerned with human right abuses are appearing in Rakhine state. The overall report will be released when the investigation process is completely accomplished. 

Meanwhile, the commission released an interim report on Jan. 4, exposing that the armed attacks in Maungtaw were conducted by HavidTuhar-led AqaMul Mujahidin linked with Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) operating in the region.

Courtesy Global Times

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