Dhaka, Bangladesh – An armed insurgent group in Bangladesh has supplied peace talks with the federal government in a transfer hailed by the specialists as vital.
The United Individuals’s Democratic Entrance (UPDF), based mostly within the nation’s Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) within the south final week submitted a 66-page peace proposal to the federal government by a facilitator.
The CHT, a sparsely populated hilly area of southern Bangladesh, is house to at the least 13 ethnic tribal teams. Within the Eighties, a lot of them fashioned an armed group referred to as Shanti Bahini, demanding full autonomy for the CHT, which borders Myanmar and northeast India.
In 1997, the then Bangladesh authorities led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed a peace accord with the CHT, with Shanti Bahini’s political wing, the Parbatya Chattagram Janasanghati Samity (PCJSS), ending twenty years of ethnic combating within the area.
Nevertheless, a piece of Shanti Bahini, primarily comprising younger guerilla fighters, rejected the peace accord and fashioned the UPDF a 12 months later to push for full autonomy and self-determination of the hill folks.
Since then, the CHT area had remained on the boil due to the turf struggle between pro-peace treaty PCJSS and the UPDF. Lots of of members of each the teams have been killed in quite a few clashes over time.
The Bangladesh authorities by a ministry devoted to the CHT and its armed forces tried to carry peace talks with the UPDF on quite a few events.
The UPDF supply for peace talks is being seen because the end result of these efforts.
‘Our nation’s sons’
Emdadul Islam, former main within the Bangladesh military who performed a key position within the signing of the 1997 peace accord, was once more the facilitator between the UPDF and the Bangladesh authorities.
“UPDF declared it on their web site and Fb web page and all of the companies involved with monitoring the CHT state of affairs have seen it,” he stated, including that the highest authorities within the Bangladesh authorities are conscious of the peace supply.
When requested whether or not he has handed the proposal to CHT or house ministries, Islam stated, “I haven’t achieved that formally but. I’ll do this quickly. However the authorities is already knowledgeable about it.”
Islam stated the UPDF proposal was a “vital improvement” which is able to pave the way in which for additional peace within the CHT area.
“They [UPDF] are our nation’s sons they usually have been combating this bloody struggle for years. I hope the federal government will have the ability to attain in the direction of a peace settlement with them like the way in which they did with PCJSS in 1997,” stated Islam.
AL Jazeera reached out to the CHT ministry however the officers there stated they weren’t conscious of any peace proposal by the UPDF.
“We’re not conscious of UPDF proposal. If it isn’t come to us by formal channel, we can not touch upon it,” Hamida Begum, secretary on the ministry, advised Al Jazeera.
Media reviews on Monday stated house minister Asaduzzaman Khan additionally denied receiving any formal proposal from the UPDF.
“We at all times need peace. We’re doing all the pieces we will to maintain peace. We welcome if they arrive to peace talks,” Khan was quoted as saying.
In the meantime, violent clashes between members of UPDF and PCJSS proceed in several components of CHT. Police stated at the least 20 members of each teams have been injured within the turf struggle between them.
On Monday, UPDF chief Prasit Bikash Khisha wrote a letter to PCJSS chairman Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, providing apology for not consulting with the PCJSS earlier than submitting the peace proposal to the Bangladesh authorities.
“The calls for that we made in our peace proposal have been formulated retaining in thoughts the larger good of the hill folks,” Khisha wrote within the letter, a replica of which was obtained by Al Jazeera.
“I can guarantee you that we additionally put emphasis in our proposal to implement components of the 1997 peace accord.”
Mehedi Hasan Palash, founding father of non-profit CHT Analysis Basis, stated the issue with the 1997 peace accord was that it was achieved with a faction of the CHT residents and didn’t characterize the complete area.
“I might say that the delivery of UPDF was a pure final result of the peace accord as a big part felt their calls for weren’t raised by the PCJSS within the 1997 accord. So that they rebelled towards it,” he advised Al Jazeera.
Palash stated the UPDF has taken an “attention-grabbing step” by approaching the federal government for peace talks.
“However they must resolve their inner points with PCJSS first. In the event that they maintain combating with one another and can’t come underneath a standard floor, then peace within the CHT shall be a distant dream,” he stated.