The recent assassination of Rohingya leader Mohammad Mohibullah in broad daylight has raised new issues of security, safety and violence in the squalid refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, in southeast Bangladesh.
Several sources point their finger towards the Islamic militant outfit Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) active in the region and have taken shelter in the camps.
ARSA believes the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH) led by Mohibullah, which beliefs in peacebuilding and conflict resolution is their arch-rival, whereas the other opted for armed conflict.
ARSA leaders are born and raised in Pakistan, later migrated to Saudi Arabia for Madrasa education. The militant outfit has raised funds to acquire light weapons and trained in terrorism in Pakistan by military hawks of Rawalpindi GHQ – in other words, dreaded Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.
The Rohingya militants has strong links with Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), headed by a 40 plus-year-old Ataullah (Abu Ammar Junjuni) who has been aided and abetted by Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) while living abroad.
ARSA commander Ataullah hails from among the Rohingya refugees abroad. He was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, to a family of Rohingya refugees. The young man later moved to Saudi Arabia and was living among 150,000 Rohingya diaspora, where he served as an Imam in a mosque.
England based security analyst Chris Blackburn, who specialises in Jamaat-e-Islami said that against this backdrop, ARSA armed insurrection is described by security experts as home-grown, which is not true. Also not an offshoot of the defunct militant group the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO).
More than a million Rohingyas fled the restive Rakhine state when the Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) in a fresh crackdown in 2017 committed “textbook style genocide” and others fled to Bangladesh crossing the river Naf.
The Myanmar regime in the capital Naypyidaw declared the Rohingyas as aliens after the authority scrapped their citizenship and making them stateless. They were barred from education, employment, healthcare, economic migration and many basic services.