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Bangladesh–Myanmar border

Bangladesh–Myanmar border
Map of Bangladesh, with Myanmar to the south-east
Entities Bangladesh  Myanmar
Length271 kilometres (168 mi)

The Bangladesh–Myanmar border is the international border between the countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar (formerly Burma).[1] The border stretches 271.0 kilometres (168.4 miles), from the tripoint with India in the north, to the Bay of Bengal in the south.[2] About 210 km (130 mi) of the border is fenced, with the government of Myanmar announcing in 2017 that it was planning to fence off the rest of the border.[3][4]


The border starts in the north at the tripoint with Mizoram, India. It then proceeds southwards overland, before turning west at a point west of Paletwa. The border then proceeds to the west, north-west and then south in a broad arc before reaching the Naf River. The border then follows this wide river southwards out to the Bay of Bengal.


Historically the border region has been a contested area located at the edge of the various Indian and Burmese empires.[5] Britain had begun conquering India (including modern Bangladesh) in the 17th century, and gradually took control of most of the country, forming British India. From the 1820s-80s Britain also gradually conquered Burma; by the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826 which ended the First Anglo-Burmese War Burma recognised British control over Assam, Manipur, Rakhine (Arakan), and the Taninthayi coast, thereby delimiting much of the Indo-Burmese modern boundary in general terms.[6][7] Large swathes of Burma were annexed following the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852–53.[5][8] The remainder of Burma was conquered in 1885 and incorporated into British India.[9][10][11] Further Indo-Burmese boundary modifications were made in 1894, 1896, 1901, 1921 and 1922.[5]

The border between Bangladesh and Myanmar near the BGB Ghat, Teknaf

In 1937 Burma was split off from India and became a separate colony.[12] In 1947 India gained independence, however the country was split into two states (India and Pakistan), with the southernmost section of the Burma-India border becoming that between Burma and East Pakistan (modern Bangladesh).[5] Burma gained independence in 1948.[5] In 1971 Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan after a war and thereby inherited the border with Burma/Myanmar.[13]

Since then the boundary area has often been unstable owing to armed conflicts such as the Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict (1977-1997) in south-east Bangladesh and the Rohingya conflict in Myanmar's Rakhine state. The latter has been ongoing for decades, yet has reached a particular intensity since 2016. The latest round of fighting has resulted in Rohingya refugees crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh.[14] Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to close their borders during sudden influxes of Rohingya refugees.[15] On Myanmar's side of the border in Maungdaw District, 80 percent of the population is Rohingya.[16]

In 2014 members of the Myanmar Border Police opened fire on a Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) patrol, killing one.[17][18] In 2015 an armed clash occurred on the border between the Rohingya Arakan Army and the BGB.[19] There have also been a number of incidents down the years involving fishermen on the Naf river allegedly illegally crossing the boundary.[20] Myanmar bombed Bangladesh border after the Arakan Army seized a Myanmar police outpost in Maungdaw town in Rakhine State, according to Prothomalo news.[21]

Border crossings

At present the border is closed to foreign nationals.[22] In 2024, during battle between Arakan Army and BGP, at least 264 Myanmar military personnel sought refuge in Bangladesh, where they were disarmed and sheltered by the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).[23]

See also


  1. ^ James, Helen (2006). Security and Sustainable Development in Myanmar. Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 9781134253937. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Burma". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Myanmar to fence remaining border with Bangladesh". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Border fence upgrade for troubled Rakhine". Burma News International. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e "International Boundary Study No. 80 Burma – India Boundary" (PDF). US Department of State. 15 May 1968. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  6. ^ Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. Phayre (1967). History of Burma (2 ed.). London: Sunil Gupta. p. 237.
  7. ^ Thant Myint-U (2001). The Making of Modern Burma. Cambridge University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-521-79914-0.
  8. ^ D.G.E.Hall (1960). Burma (PDF). Hutchinson University Library. pp. 109–113. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-05-19.
  9. ^ The Victorians at war, 1815-1914: an encyclopedia of British military history. p. 70.
  10. ^ Thant Myint-U (2001). The Making of Modern Burma. Cambridge University Press. pp. 18. ISBN 0-521-79914-7.
  11. ^ Webster, Anthony (1998). Gentlemen Capitalists: British Imperialism in South East Asia, 1770–1890. I.B.Tauris. pp. 142–145. ISBN 978-1-86064-171-8.
  12. ^ "Sword For Pen". Time. 12 April 1937.
  13. ^ Historical Dictionary of Bangladesh, Page 289
  14. ^ "Around 27,400 Rohingya flee into Bangladesh from Myanmar: UN sources". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to consider sealing border if new crisis erupts". Frontier Myanmar. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  16. ^ Galache, Carlos Sardiña. "Rohingya Villagers Recount a Brutal Crackdown in Myanmar". Time. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Myanmar returns arms, ammo of slain BGB man". The Daily Star. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  18. ^ "Myanmar's border force regrets Mizan's killing". The Daily Star. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  19. ^ "Bandarban BGB camp comes under mortar attack". The Daily Star. 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  20. ^ "Online Burma Library > Main Library > Human Rights > Various Rights > Various rights: reports of violations in Burma > Burma Human Rights Yearbooks (1994-2008)".
  21. ^ Desk, Prothom Alo English (2022-09-05). "Myanmar bombs Bangladesh border after Arakan Army seizes outpost: Report". Prothomalo. Retrieved 2023-06-22.
  22. ^ "ARRIVING AND DEPARTING OVER LAND". Go Myanmar. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  23. ^ "BGB: 264 members of Myanmar border, security forces taking shelter in Bangladesh". Dhaka Tribube. 6 February 2024. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
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Bangladesh–Myanmar border
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