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Bangladesh border fence 70 percent complete

Armed Burmese border police scan the area along the river dividing the Burma-Bangladesh border in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, on 15 October 2016. (Photo: AFP)

The fencing along the border between Burma and Bangladesh is now about 70 percent complete, said Chan Aye, the deputy director of the legal department at Burma’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking yesterday at a press conference to mark one year since the project began, Chan Aye said, “The fencing job between Myanmar and Bangladesh is 70 percent finished. Patrol roads have also been constructed to run alongside the fence. Depending on the budget we receive, the fence can continue to be built all the way to the Indian border. But what I would like to focus on today is that the crucial southern part has been finished.”

The fence was jointly financed and organised by the ministries of foreign affairs, home affairs, and defence. As the border on the Naf River marks the most open part of the common boundary, fencing there was given priority, Chan Aye said.

He added that security along Burma’s borders with each of its five neighbouring countries was being assessed, and that the new government is currently undertaking a plan to survey and measure the common boundaries with India and Thailand for the benefit of future generations.

“All these borders were laid down by the British,” said the deputy director of legal affairs. “But we still have problems where there is no demarcation. We need to make these areas clear with the use of modern equipment such as aerial photography.”

Burma’s border with India is nearly 1,000 miles long, while the border with Thailand is more than 1,300 miles, only 10 of which has been properly surveyed and demarcated, he told reporters.