Myanmar abolishes notorious border force

Featured South East Asia - July 16th, 2013

Myanmar president Thein Sein has abolished the nation’s controversial border security force.

The Border Area Immigration Control Headquarters, known as Nasaka, was disbanded in a mandate signed by Thein Sein on July 12, Narinjara News reports.

Nasaka, which consists of officers from the army and police force as well as the custom and immigration services, had the responsibility of keeping vigil on the western border of Myanmar and overseeing Rohingyas in the region.

The reason behind the decision to abolish the force is yet to be disclosed by the government.

Zaw Aye Maung, a member of parliament for the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, said corruption allegations may have prompted the move.

Last year, the head of Nasaka was sentenced on graft charges, he said.

Nasaka is seen as a notorious force accused of human rights violations, particularly against Rohingya people in Rakhine state.

Human Rights Watch has implicated the force in abuses against the minority Muslim group, including arbitrary arrest and torture, and accused officers of demanding bribes from Rohingyas.

A UN report by special rapporteur on human rights, Tomas Ojea Quintana, in Myanmar urged the government to suspend the force’s operations in Rakhine, reports Reuters.