Burma to accept Bangladesh prisoners

Apr 29, 2009 (DVB), Burma has agreed to take back 68 Burmese nationals who have been imprisoned in Bangladesh following a meeting between the Burmese government and a Bangladeshi paramilitary border force.

Officials from Burma's Department of Border Trade and Bangladesh's paramilitary border control, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), met yesterday in Cox's Bazar district on the Bangladesh side of the border.

Bangladesh is now set to release 68 Burmese nationals, 65 civilians of which are and three of which are army deserters. The army deserters were detained by BDR troops in Bandarban, near the border, on 20 March this year.

A total of 133 Burmese nationals are due to be released from Bangladeshi prisons, although the Burmese junta are reluctant to accept them all.

Three other meetings between Burmese army officials BDR officials were held in Bandarban yesterday, during which Burmese officials made a promised to move the planned construction of the border fence 150 yards further inside Burma.

Bangladesh has voiced concern that the planned border fence, aimed at stemming the flow of illegal migrants into Burma, ran too close to the border.

Reporting by DVB

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