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South Asian Update
South Asian Update

Opinion

Sinister plot to undermine Bangladesh's participation in UN peace missions

 Published: 11:46, 26 May 2024

Sinister plot to undermine Bangladesh's participation in UN peace missions

According to information from a news outlet of Bangladesh, dated May 22nd, 2024, Bangladeshs military and RAB were the subject of a report by Germanys Deutsche Welle. Recently, Assistant Secretary of State for International Affairs Donald Lu from the United States visited Bangladesh. His visit has hinted at a new dimension in Dhaka-Washington relations.

However, a report published the day after the US State Departments ban on former army chief General Aziz Ahmed and his family is being viewed with skepticism by informed circles. They see it as a source of deep controversy, portraying Bangladeshs security forces, especially the Rapid Action Battalion, in a negative light.

Published under the title "Human Rights Abuses on UN Missions" on May 21st, 2024, the report by Dutch-based organization Netra News, founded by controversial journalist Tasneem Khalil, is primarily known for disseminating misleading reports against the country. Many view it as more fiction than fact. The sensationalism in the published statements and character portrayals has rendered the whole picture mysterious and speculative.

The citizens are well aware that since Bangladeshs participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions was signaled in 1988, it has authored a glorious chapter. The inclusion of a large number of members of the countrys armed forces, including the Rapid Action Battalion, and their involvement in law enforcement activities has elevated the nations image in peacekeeping missions. With utmost responsibility and steadfastness, 166 Bangladeshi peacekeeping mission members have sacrificed their lives so far.

The role of Bangladesh-sent peacekeeping forces in the international arena, including the United Nations, is universally acknowledged and appreciated. The peace-loving members of Bangladeshs armed forces actively engage in various peacekeeping efforts such as disarmament of armed groups, mine clearance, assistance in fair elections, and active participation in the establishment of roads and infrastructure in conflict zones like Congo, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Sahara, Lebanon, Haiti, and East Timor, showcasing enviable success.

Over the span of almost three decades, Bangladesh has earned recognition as a reliable and tested friend of the United Nations in establishing peace and protecting human rights in various war-torn regions across the globe. The humane hands of Bangladeshs peacekeepers have always been extended in the service of distressed, oppressed, and vulnerable people in every corner of the world.

The year 1993-94 marked a significant period for Bangladeshs military prowess and expertise as it participated in three crucial peacekeeping missions in Rwanda, Somalia, and Bosnia. At that time, the representatives of the United Nations and associated countries were amazed by Bangladeshs military capabilities and proficiency. Bangladeshs peacekeeping troops outperformed Belgian, American, and French contingents in these missions, showcasing their strength and efficiency.

Since then, Bangladesh has maintained a strong presence in United Nations peacekeeping missions. The peacekeepers from Bangladesh fearlessly confront adversaries on foreign soil, even in the most challenging and perilous situations. During the tumultuous period in Ivory Coast, the Bangladeshi contingents deployed in Liberia played a significant role in addressing refugee situations and contributing to the overall socio-economic development of Liberia, particularly in agriculture, education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Their extensive humanitarian efforts have earned high praise from local populations and international observers.

As we approach Peacekeepers Day on May 29, 2024, its evident that such misreporting carries no credibility.

Its widely understood that any nation must play a responsible role in promoting zero-tolerance policies towards terrorism, insurgency, corruption, narcotics, lawlessness, nepotism, opposition, division, occupation of land, and the spread of unethical influences. Failure to do so leads to various forms of societal disruption, discord, disillusionment, fragmentation, suicide, and antisocial activities. Individuals or groups driven by selfish motives to manipulate the state into an ineffective entity become instruments of disruptive power. In such cases, social control mechanisms become ineffective, leaving society vulnerable.

Therefore, effective functioning of state institutions, particularly the enforcement of justice and laws, becomes indispensable for maintaining social order and ensuring public safety and well-being. Non-military law enforcement agencies, including the police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), various intelligence agencies, and, when necessary, the armed forces, must conduct operations to maintain the normal pace of societal dynamics.

The internal security forces of Bangladesh, including the military, RAB, and police, are highly praised for their impartial operations. From sheltering a large number of Rohingya refugees to ensuring peace in the hilly regions and combating terrorism, they have been steadfast in safeguarding the sovereignty of the country, acting as vigilant guardians against all unforeseen mishaps in their comprehensive campaign. They have already established transparency, expertise, courage, and a strong presence in counter-terrorism and law enforcement. Our young society, both male and female adolescents, are aware of the consequences of criminal activities. Recognizing the alarming situations faced by all conscious citizens, families, guardians, and the entire community due to escalating violence, the law enforcement agencies must assume a more proactive and responsible role. Under the guidance of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) emerged as an elite force under the Bangladesh Police on March 26th, 2004, participating in the National Independence Day parade to express themselves for the first time.

Although initially tasked with intelligence gathering, RAB has been fully operational since June 21st, 2004. Through effective organizational structures, they have gained extensive trust and confidence among the people. To ensure the rule of law, ensure the safety of all citizens, maintain social peace based on community participation, combat crime and resistance, bring lawbreakers to justice, ensure peace and discipline, protect the people, provide assistance and services, instill confidence, be tolerant, resilient, coordinate with various organizations, gain knowledge, receive education, and explore avenues for further improvement, the police force must accelerate its programs.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the law enforcement agencies, including RAB, have been recognized as frontline warriors in ensuring the tolerable sustenance and health security of the people. Under government directives, they have taken a firm stance against corruption and malpractice, understanding the human dimension of the pandemic. Providing service to the COVID-affected patients with a humane approach, ensuring vast open spaces filled with health security for the distressed population, and arranging for the free distribution of essential items like food, medicine, and other necessities have been highly commendable. In the realm of humanitarianism, the police force is establishing respect and dignity in the hearts of the citizens, amidst the backdrop of unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic.

Conversely, it is evident that the manifestation of primitive instincts such as drug and arms abuse, trafficking, murder, suicide, terrorism, juvenile gang crimes, cyberbullying, and child and women abuse through platforms like Facebook and social media is disrupting society at large. Despite the significant achievements in combating these crimes through proactive actions by law enforcement agencies, both domestically and internationally, there are persistent attempts to question these initiatives. The noble responsibility of safeguarding national security and internal stability undertaken by these organizations not only garners fame nationally but also on the global stage. However, attempts to vilify their roles as baseless, groundless, and motivated by sinister motives are prevalent.

Such contexts highlight the extraordinary reputation earned by the remarkable peacekeeping force, not just as a matter of disrespect but also as a contemplation of an ominous force lurking in the darkness to derail Bangladesh from its peacekeeping mission. -Source: Daily observer

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