Rohingya armed groups clash on 'Zero Line' buffer zone between Burma and Bangladesh

Rohingya armed groups clash on 'Zero Line' buffer zone between Burma and Bangladesh

Fighting broke out between two Rohingya armed groups along the Burma-Bangladesh border on Jan. 18. The clash forced those living in makeshift shelters in the “Zero Line” – a buffer zone on the border between Burma and Bangladesh – to seek safety. An estimated 500 fled into Burma, while others fled toward Bangladesh, witnesses stated. “An allied force of the Bangladesh government’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) attacked Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) troops. One member of the RSO died and another one was injured,” a witness told DVB.

The Bangladesh government issued arrest warrants for ARSA leaders in November 2022 for killing Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The ARSA reportedly burned down refugee shelters in the Zero Line during the fighting. The ARSA then fled to the Burma side of the border, according to the witness. About 3,000 Rohingya refugees have been living in makeshift shelters along the Burma-Bangladesh border for over five years after fleeing Burma Army’s genocidal campaign in Rakhine State in 2017. The Jan. 18 fighting ensued as the junta’s home affairs minister and police chief were visiting Maungdaw, in northern Rakhine State of Burma, near the border of Bangladesh.