Ending The Armed Conflict In Bangladesh
Year(s): 1992 – 1997.
Location: Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong Division, Bangladesh.
UN Regional Group: Asia-Pacific.
Type of Conflict: Vertical (state-based) Intrastate Conflict.
Type of Initiative: Mediation of a peace agreement.
Main Implementing Organisation(s): The Government of Bangladesh.
Summary: The Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord brought an end to two decades of armed conflict and formally recognised the special status of the indigenous population.
Description of Case
The armed conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh, began in 1972. The CHT had enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy under British rule, however this status was revoked when the region became part of Pakistan in 1947. Following Bangladeshi independence from Pakistan in 1971, state-sponsored migration into the CHT increased, inspiring the indigenous population of the region to launch an insurgency against migrant communities and government security forces. In 1982, the Bangladeshi military seized power in a coup d’état. After meeting continuing resistance from the population of the CHT, the military government entered into dialogue with CHT representatives in 1985. While some armed groups agreed to put down their weapons in exchange for increased autonomy, the peace process ultimately collapsed, and the fighting continued.
In 1992, the first democratically elected government of Bangladesh came into office. Almost immediately, the new administration worked to resolve the conflict in the CHT. Agreements were made with India regarding refugees from the conflict, a parliamentary committee was established to investigate the issue, and fresh talks were held with representatives from the CHT. On 11 August 1992, a ceasefire was signed which essentially ended the conflict. As talks continued over the ensuing five years, fighting between the former belligerents remained extremely limited. On 2 December 1997, the negotiations culminated with the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord. In addition to ending the conflict, the Accord established an autonomous administration (known as the Regional Council) for the CHT along with a central government Ministry for CHT Affairs, which would be led by an individual from the CHT. The Accord has succeeded in ending the armed conflict, despite opposition from hard-line groups within CHT communities and certain Bangladeshi political parties, as well as the recalcitrance of the military to withdraw from the area.
 Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia. Bangladesh: Chittagong Hill Tracts. Available at: https://ucdp.uu.se/conflict/322 (Accessed 01/11/2020)
 S. M. Shamsul Alam. “Democratic politics and the fall of the military regime in Bangladesh.” Bulleting of Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 27, No. 3. (1995)
 Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia. Bangladesh: Chittagong Hill Tracts.
 Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord, 1997. Available at: https://peacemaker.un.org/node/1449 (Accessed 01/11/2020)
 M. Rashiduzzaman. “Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord: Institutional Features and Strategic Concerns.” Asian Survey, Vol. 38, No. 7. (1998)