Friday, 14 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
Advance Search

US intention not to lift sanctions on RAB untenable

Published : Sunday, 19 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 264

This is upsetting that the US sanctions on some members of our Rapid Action Battalion would not be withdrawn at least for now though hopes were raised to resolve the issue during the last weeks visit of the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu to Dhaka.

Now it is clear from the statement of the US State Departments spokesman Vedant Patel that the sanctions on RAB will not be eased or set aside sooner or later. He disclosed it in a regular briefing even without making any hints that the issue could be considered in the future.

Describing any move for the withdrawal of the sanctions as a false claim, Patel said that these sanctions were intended to change behaviour and promote accountability of the elite force. This means there has not been any change in RABs activities since the sanctions levied in 2021.

But in reality, there have been palpable changes in RABs actions and behavior as extrajudicial killings for which RAB members have come under US sanctions have been rarely taking place in recent years.   

Although RAB members have been accused by the US of extrajudicial killings and disappearances of people, Bangladesh government has repeatedly denied this claim outright saying that RAB members were trained and supported by the US to curb terrorism in the region.

And RAB members have acted accordingly by repressing many terrorist activities which have earned them acclaim both at home and abroad. Nevertheless, this specialized elite force was the target of US sanctions.  

This tetchy sanction issue has been subject of discussions on many occasions during the visits of high-ranking US government officials to Dhaka. But it has remained unresolved until today.

Even during the recent shuttle trip of Donald Lu, the sanction issue was brought to the table and he reportedly made some hints in a meeting with Prime Ministers Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman that the US government may consider working on it for an amicable solution.

Unfortunately, now US possible move towards lifting sanctions on RAB turns out to be false.  

On top of sanctions on RAB, there has been another stumbling block, new US visa policy that also stands in the way of improving bilateral relations between the two countries. This visa policy was enforced a few months before the January 7 parliamentary elections with the intent for a free and fair election. But it remains in place until now.

Astonishingly, the US administration seems to take its partnerships with Bangladesh to a new height and it was reflected in a missive delivered by Joe Biden to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina soon after our national elections. But they are not inclined to ease the pending issues that have been stymieing the bilateral ties.

We are still left hoping that all the outstanding issues would be resolved through discussions and friendly relationships between Bangladesh and the US would be there where they were before.

Latest News
Most Read News
Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka.
Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000.
Phone: PABX- 41053001-06; Online: 41053014; Advertisement: 41053012.
E-mail: info©, news©, advertisement©, For Online Edition: mailobserverbd©
  [ABOUT US]     [CONTACT US]   [AD RATE]   Developed & Maintenance by i2soft