Total withdrawal of troops from CHT ‘depends on situation’

July 31, 2009

The withdrawal of the rest of the troops from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) will depend on law and order there, the state minister for CHT affairs said Thursday, reports
“The withdrawal of the remaining army troops will depend on the improvement of law and order in the region,” Dipankar Talukder said after a meeting with the deputy commissioners at the Secretariat on the concluding day of the conference of DCs.
The government Wednes-day announced the “biggest withdrawal” of army troops from the CHT since a peace accord was signed over a┬ádecade ago in an attempt to bring stability to the long-troubled region.
The pullout of a complete brigade, including three infantry battalions and 35 security camps, will start immediately and end by September.
There has been a long-drawn conflict between two CHT-based parties-United People’s Democratic Front and Parbatya Chattagram Janasanghati Samiti-over the peace accord.
Asked whether he believed the security situation might slide after the army withdrawal, the state minister said there was discord between the parties, which would disappear after the accord was fully implemented.
Talukder said the prime minister was sincere about its implementation.
“The government has already reformed the CHT Land Commission and a taskforce has been formed. Land survey will start soon.”
Peace in the CHT is necessary for the development of tourism, the state minister said.
Since the CHT peace treaty was signed in 1997 to end decades-old bush war, 200 security camps have been phased out.
There are five brigades and five camps in the three CHT districts of Rangamatai, Khagrachhari and Bandarban.

Courtesy of The Financial Express

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