The security situation in Bangladesh is currently unstable due to growing environmental concerns and political tensions with neighbouring India.1 As of 2023, reports state that human rights violations persist in the country.2 As a result of this instability, Bangladesh has high levels of weapons and ammunition trafficking.3 Since 2017, landmines at the border with Myanmar have also posed significant risks.4
Nonviolence International is working on the ground to support the through-life management of ammunition, in collaboration with the Bangladeshi Ministry of Defence. As part of these efforts, the organisation has contributed to regional and national mechanisms regulating weapons and ammunition by promoting synergies; encouraging the sharing of national initiatives and regional approaches; and documenting work on successful ammunition regulations, stockpile management, and national implementation measures to reduce armed violence in the region.5
1 Shafi Md Mostofa, “Another Anti-India Wave Sweeps Bangladesh,” The Diplomat, June 17, 2022, https://thediplomat.com/2022/06/another-anti-india-wave-sweeps-bangladesh/; “Bangladesh Flash Flood 2022,” Shelter Cluster, accessed September 5, 2022, https://sheltercluster.org/response/bangladesh-flash-flood-2022.
2 “World Report 2023: Bangladesh Events of 2022,” Human Rights Watch, accessed September 11, 2023, https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2023/country-chapters/bangladesh.
3 Sarah Gutberlet, “Arms Trafficking through Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh,” Stable Seas, January 15, 2020, https://www.stableseas.org/post/arms-trafficking-through-cox-s-bazar-bangladesh.
4 “Bangladesh,” Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, accessed September 5, 2022, http://www.the-monitor.org/en-gb/reports/2019/bangladesh/mine-ban-policy.aspx; “Myanmar Army Landmines along Border with Bangladesh Pose Deadly Threat to Fleeing Rohingya,” Amnesty International, September 9, 2017, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/press-release/2017/09/myanmar-army-landmines-along-border-with-bangladesh-pose-deadly-threat-to-fleeing-rohingya/.
5 “Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022, https://a-map.gichd.org.
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Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, no accidental explosions have been reported in Bangladesh.
Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021, https://smallarmssurvey.org/database/unplanned-explosions-munitions-sites-uems.
Cases of diversion
Several cases of diversion have been reported since 2009 in Bangladesh.
Table 1. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in Bangladesh since 2009
A pistol was stolen from two members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at Mirsarai.
A pistol and 16 bullets were stolen from a police officer in Shahbagh.
A pistol and 16 bullets were stolen from a police officer in Panchlaish.
A sub-machine gun, 408-round bullets and other weapons were stolen from government headquarters.
Source: “Pistol Stolen from Policeman Recovered from Notorious Gang Member after 5 Months,” Dhaka Tribune, July 28, 2017, https://archive.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/nation/2017/07/28/pistol-stolen-policeman-recovered-notorious-gang-member-5-months; Arifur Rahman Rabbi, “Firearm, Ammunition 'Stolen' from Police Station,” Dhaka Tribune, May 8, 2019, https://archive.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/dhaka/2019/05/08/firearm-ammunition-stolen-from-police-station; Emran Hossain, “Missing BDR Arms Cause for Concern,” Daily Star, March 13, 2009, https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-79482; “Firearm Looted from RAB Members in CTG Recovered,” Financial Express, May 29, 2022, https://www.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/national/firearm-looted-from-rab-members-in-ctg-recovered-1653824427.
Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Bangladesh.
No needs have been reported for Bangladesh.1
1 Bangladesh, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN, 2022), https://smallarms.un-arm.org/country-profiles/BGD.