Bangladesh authorities have announced that the Bangladesh and Myanmar will jointly remove landmines along their joint border.

The Daily Star and Financial Press in Bangladesh state that the agreement to clear mines was made during a six day meeting in Dhaka between the Myanmar Police Force and Border Guard Bangladesh. Both groups are paramilitary, and operate under the jurisdictions of the Ministry of Home Affairs in either country.

It is not clear on which countries territory the clearance will occur. Bangladesh is a state party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, does not possess or use antipersonnel landmines, and has not reported to the convention any mined areas within its borders.

Myanmar is a known producer and user of antipersonnel landmines. Myanmar first laid boundary mine fields along the land portion of its border with Bangladesh in 1992, after a massive exodus of a quarter million Rohingya from Rakhine state. (see also Landmine Monitor country report Myanmar/Burma).

The extent of the mine clearance operation is unclear and has not yet been announced in the Myanmar press. One newspaper stated that the two countries would remove mines ‘planted by separatist groups’. Officials declined to name the separatist groups or how many casualties had occurred along the joint border.