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South Asian Update
South Asian Update

South Asia

Bangladesh prepares to send home more Myanmar regime troops in April

 Published: 11:21, 27 March 2024

Bangladesh prepares to send home more Myanmar regime troops in April

Bangladesh is gearing up to repatriate more than a hundred Myanmar regime troops who sought refuge across the border following their defeat in Rakhine state. Reports indicate that a deal is in its final stages, with 179 soldiers set to return to Myanmar in early April.

In return, the junta aims to release around 200 Bangladeshi nationals currently held in regime prisons. Among the troops to be repatriated is a Border Guard Police (BGP) officer allegedly involved in the genocidal attacks on the Rohingya in 2017, as reported by the Irrawaddy.
Sources within the Bangladeshi government suggest that the Myanmar regime is facing difficulties in managing its prisons and sees the repatriation as a means to alleviate the strain. Plans are underway to transport the returning soldiers and the released Bangladeshi prisoners on the same ship departing from Cox's Bazar.
An official clarified that while this may seem like a prisoner swap, it differs as the Myanmar troops sought shelter in Bangladesh voluntarily. All individuals involved are reportedly willing to return to Myanmar, and any seeking refuge will be handled in accordance with United Nations protocols.
This move follows a previous incident in early February when a significant number of regime soldiers and their families fled to Bangladesh. 
Between 4 and 10 February, a total of 330 soldiers and their families had fled into Bangladesh, where authorities turned away 75 Rohingya during that same time period. They were repatriated on 15 February by ship.

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