Agreement to end Bangladesh tribal uprising

BBC World Service, Tuesday 2 December 1997, 08:51 GMT

An agreement has been reached in Bangladesh to end more than 20 years of separatist insurgency in the south-eastern Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Leaders of the Shanti Bahini tribal movement signed the accord in Dhaka in a ceremony witnessed by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina Wajed.

Details of its terms have not been released, but Sheikh Hasina, told the BBC that the rebel side would surrender its arms now.

The Shanti Bahini rebels have been seeking autonomy for the Chittagong Hill tracts which border India and Burma.

It is estimated that more than 8,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in 1973.

The rebel leader told the BBC that devising the treaty had been hard but the task of making it work would be even more difficult.