New wave of violence hits Jummas

In recent months there has been an upsurge of violence against tribal peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, known collectively as the Jummas. In August, an 11-month old baby was badly injured during an attack by settlers in which both his parents were killed; no action has been taken against the perpertrators.

Despite a peace agreement between the Jummas and the government of Bangladesh in 1997, the Jummas are still not safe from settler and army aggression. Although the government promised that all temporary military camps would be withdrawn, only 31 out of 500 camps have gone, and a new military camp is being established in the Hills, bringing with it more harrassment and intimidation.

In a typical incident, soldiers raised a village of the Mog tribe. They arrested and tortured a number of the Mog men and attempted to sexually harass two young Mog women. On August 23rd, the army killed an 18-year old student, and others have been tortured in separate incidents. More than 100 settler families moved onto Jumma land in July; according to the peace agreement, all new colonization of Jumma lands should have stopped.