Myanmar border guard police patrol the fence in the 'no man's land' zone between the Myanmar and Bangladesh border. Photo: AFP/Phyo Hein Kyaw

The Bangladesh foreign ministry summoned the Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka on February 5 to protest the arrival of more refugees from across the border, the Daily Star reported on February 7.

A total of 200 people from Myanmar’s Chin state sought refuge in the Bandarban area of southeastern Bangladesh – and these refugees are Buddhists fleeing fighting between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army (AA), a local rebel group which draws support from the Buddhist majority in Rakhine State.

Most of the new arrivals came from the Paletwa area near the Rakhine State border in southern Chin State, where the AA has several bases, and, according to the Daily Star, are Rakhine, Kyang and Khumi.

“Some people are already waiting on the border and they may also enter. We have asked them [Myanmar] to take effective action and urgent steps so that the violence is stopped,” the Daily Star quoted a Bangladesh official as saying.

On January 4, the AA killed 13 people in raids on border police posts in Myanmar which, in turn, provoked the Myanmar army to retaliate. According to the UN, at least 5,200 people have been displaced by the violence.

“The fresh arrival of Myanmar nationals takes place at a time when Bangladesh is struggling to cope with the burden of over a million Rohingya Muslims. Of them, some 750,000 have taken shelter in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar since August 2017, following a military crackdown in Rakhine [State],” the Daily Star reported.

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