A large number of actors perpetrate armed violence in Bangladesh, wich does, however, not in all cases amount to an armed conflict in the sense of international humanitarian law (see section 'Applicable Law'):
Clashes occasionally occur along the India-Bangladesh border between the border security forces of the two countries, such as in 2001, 2005, and 2008.
In addition, the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has reportedly killed and injured hundreds of civilians near the border in recent years.
In a significant departure from past practice, Bangladesh is increasingly willing to cooperate with India in the fight against Indian separatist armed groups operating on Bangladesh's territory. The armed forces of both countries have launched joint operations against these groups in Bangladesh. In May 2009, India and Bangladesh set up a "Joint Task Force to deal with militancy and other anti-national elements", the modalities of which remain to be defined.
Border clashes occur sporadically between Myanmar and Bangladesh border guards, such as in 2001. In October 2008, tensions rose signifiantly between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Myanmar allegedly deployed 5,500 to 6,000 soldiers on territory Bangladesh considers its own.
In November 2008, both countries deployed war vessels to a disputed maritime are in the Bay of Bengal and in October 2009, Bangladesh apparently prepared to defend against an attack on one of its islands in the Bay of Bengal.
According to Bangladesh border guards, Myanmar military often conduct operations against Myanmar armed groups on Bangladeshi territory (see also 'Foreign armed groups' below).
In June 2009, Myanmar security forces reportedly fired on Bangladeshi fishermen.
Burmese insurgents and the Bangladesh Army reportedly clashed in February 2009.
The decades-long Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict officially ended with the signing of the 1997 Peace Accord between the government and the Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) (see section 'Peace Treaties'). However, confrontations between the two main rival armed groups of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, the Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) and the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) continue on a low scale.
In spite of the new Government's pledge to finally fully implement the 1997 Peace Accord, government armed forces reportedly assist and instigate violence perpetrated by Bengali settler groups against the indigenous population.
An official inquiry into the BDR mutiny of February 2009 in which 74 persons were killed has been conducted, but commentators continue to voice doubts about the reasons behind it, in particular about possible 'external links' or links to militant Islamist groups. (See also the Overview page and the section 'National judicial decisions')
In the south-west of Bangladesh, armed units of the government, especially the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), regularly have violent encounters with a multiplicity of “Left Wing Extremist” groups.
For more information, see A. Acharya, "Bangladesh: Qualified Gains" in South Asia Intelligence Review, Vol.8, No. 20, 23 November 2009
Bangladesh has seen a rise in islamist militancy since 2004. After the state of emergency was lifted, activities by Islamist extremist groups have been substantially curbed by the Government. No attack has so far been recorded in 2009 by Islamist militants. Although many of these groups have been banned and their leaders arrested, they continue to maintain an active presence across the country and are allegedly regrouping. (Source: South Asia Intelligence Review)
The political conflict between the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) often spills over into violence with hundreds of people reported killed in recent years.
Last updated: 27 November 2009