Years of deadlock between the two main political parties, the Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, have caused governance breakdowns, narrowed political debate, eroded the rule of law and widened social divisions. The continued threat of jihadist violence exacerbates these problems. Meanwhile, Bangladesh struggles to accommodate the presence of an estimated one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, whose return appears unlikely any time soon. Crisis Group aims to reduce conflict risks, including the spread of militancy, arising from political stagnation; to promote inclusive and accountable democratic institutions; and to urge adequate assistance for the refugees until conditions allow for safe return.

CrisisWatch Bangladesh

Unchanged Situation

Tensions persisted between ruling Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), while violence and insecurity continued in Rohingya camps and Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Tensions remained elevated between govt and opposition ahead of 2024 election. BNP 6 June announced sit-ins at electricity offices across country to protest recent power outages. Awami League supporters 8 June attacked BNP members in Pabna city, injuring ten. BNP plans to step up demonstrations in July following Islamic Eid holiday. PM Sheikh Hasina 13 June cautioned her party members that “development and the country will be destroyed” if Awami League loses power. Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami 10 June held large rally in Dhaka – its first political gathering in decade – echoing BNP’s call for caretaker government to oversee election. BNP sec gen 19 June asserted that there would be no elections without caretaker govt; law minister 21 June stated that constitution did not include provisions for caretaker govt. Ahead of city polls in Rajshahi on 21 June that Awami League candidate won by large margin, clashes between rival supporters 18-19 June injured over 30.

Rohingya refugees demanded repatriation as violence in camps persisted. Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees 8 June attended rally, which may have been backed or instigated by Bangladeshi authorities, in favour of repatriation to Myanmar. UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrew 8 June blamed authorities for using “deceptive and coercive measures” to convince refugees to return. In Cox’s Bazar camps, security forces 11 June arrested member of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) accused of six murders. Security forces 17 June accused ARSA of killing Rohingya leader. Police 19 June stated Rohingya man died following gunfight between ARSA and rival Rohingya Solidarity Organisation.

Chittagong Hill Tracts remained restive. Military 1 June raided Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) camp in Bandarban’s Ruma Upazila, killing soldier, while improvised explosive that army blamed on KNF 16 June killed soldier in Ruma; six soldiers have been killed in region in last six months. Following recent spike in violence, ethnic minority leaders 6 June held rally in Mymensingh to mark 25-year anniversary of peace treaty and to demand its full implementation.

Continue reading

In The News

10 Nov 2022
You might ask ‘why would the military be interested in negotiating to take them [Rohingya refugees] back when it was the one that forced them to leave for the military re... The New Humanitarian

Thomas Kean

Senior Consultant, Myanmar & Bangladesh
28 Dec 2019
Les autorités [Birmanes] ont donc pris des mesures qui touchent à la liberté de mouvement. Les réfugiés n’ont plus le droit de sortir des camps et les autorités ont coupé... RFI

Pierre Prakash

Program Director, Asia

Latest Updates

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.