US levels anti-corruption as core national security interest, Miller on BD officials’ corruption

US levels anti-corruption as core national security interest, Miller on BD officials’ corruption Photo: Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, Just News BD

Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, State Department Correspondent

The United States has prioritized anti-corruption as a core national security interest since the beginning of this administration, with a detailed implementation plan articulated at senior levels.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller addressed this priority while responding to queries about corruption charges against former Bangladesh police chief Benazir Ahmed and army chief Aziz Ahmed during a briefing on Tuesday.

State Department correspondent Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey asked Miller if any US agency had discovered assets belonging to these officials in the US or elsewhere, and whether any such assets had been frozen, especially given Benazir Ahmed’s subjection to two US sanctions.

Miller responded, “The United States believes corruption saps economic growth, hinders development, destabilizes governments, and undermines democracy. We have made anti-corruption a core national security interest since the outset of this administration, and our detailed implementation plan for this strategy has been articulated at a number of senior levels. However, I don’t have anything new to announce. As you know, we never preview sanctions or other actions that we might take.”

Ansarey also highlighted a joint investigation by German-based DW and Süddeutsche Zeitung and Sweden-based Netra News, revealing that members of Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are deployed as UN peacekeepers despite allegations of human rights violations against the force. He asked for the US perspective, given that the US imposed sanctions against RAB for gross human rights violations.

Miller acknowledged awareness of the reports, stating, “Peacekeeping operations play an essential role in promoting international peace and security, and it is essential that peacekeeping personnel protect human rights. In accordance with the UN Due Diligence Policy, the UN relies on troop and police contributing countries to self-certify that they are not sending troops or police implicated in committing human rights violations or violations of international humanitarian law.”