Bangladesh Army to send 1,600 minesweepers to KSA

Written By: / Tuesday, 05 February 2019 16:44

Siam Sarower Jamil,
Dhaka,Feb 5

Bangladesh Army decided to send 1,600 minesweepers to Najran and Jizan to sweep landmines in the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The country’s security experts cautioned the Bangladesh Army not to get involved in proxy wars.
Army officials told Imphal Times that in July two Bangladesh Army contingents were expected to reach Saudi states bordering Yemen under a memorandum of understanding to be signed by Bangladesh and the KSA in February envisaging military cooperation.
Bangladesh ambassador in Riyadh Golam Moshi told Imphal Times Monday that the two sides would sign another MoU under which Bangladesh army’s minesweepers would participate in sweeping mines reportedly laid by Houthis in Yemen between 2014 and 2016 killing over 1,500 and leaving 3,000 other injured until June.
The KSA which heads the Arab Coalition against the Iran-backed rebels in Yemen took the minesweeping project in liberated areas in Yemen bordering Saudi Arabia.
Under UN Peacekeeping Mission, Bangladesh Army’s minesweepers won international acclaim for clearing landmines from war torn countries in Asia and Africa.
But it would be for the 1st time that the Bangladesh Army would participate in any minesweeping operation under a bilateral framework.
Retired Major General Shahidul Hoque said Monday minesweeping by Bangladesh Army would look nice so long it only sweeps mines in Najran and Jizan.
But if the Bangladeshi soldiers cross the borders to sweep mines in Yemen it would grossly flout the foreign policy of Bangladesh as it would tantamount to involving Bangladesh in ‘proxy war’ between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
In May 2017, following KSA’s request Bangladesh agreed to send its army to Saudi Arabia only if Makkah and Madinah came under attack.
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies president retired major general ANM Muniruzzaman said it would be too early to comment on the issue before knowing the pros and cons of the proposed MoUs from the Bangladesh Army.While talking on the proposed MoUs, Inter Services Public Relations director Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Ibn Zaid said that the army would definitely keep the public informed if needed in due course.
He told Imphal Times that the ISPR had nothing to share ‘right now’.
ISPR officials said that Bangladesh Army peacekeepers earned international acclaim by sweeping landmines from Kuwait after 1991.During the demining process in Kuwait 270 Bangladeshi soldiers lost their lives and 56 others were wounded, according to a Kuwait Times report on Kuwaiti-Bangladeshi military ties distinctive: Senior officer’ published on November 22, 2016.
As the Army was highly trained in minesweeping Brig General Mohamamd Turki Al-Gaml, defence attaché in Saudi Embassy in Dhaka requested the Armed Forced Division in October to send troops under specific instruments.

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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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