The Rohingya crisis & # 39; goes into dangerous phase & # 39 ;, main news & news from Southeast Asia



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Muslim Rohingya insurgents who fled Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladeshi camps can mount cross-border attacks on security and non-Muslim facilities in Myanmar, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned in a new report.

But the non-governmental organization warned the countries against imposing new sanctions on Myanmar, saying it is "unlikely to produce positive changes".

The report entitled "The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar enters a new dangerous phase", published yesterday, said that the militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) "seems determined to regroup and remains relevant" after its attacks against police posts and a military base in the Rakhine state in August, prompting a security offensive.

Although he has not launched a new attack since then, "he will undoubtedly strive to do so," the report said.

Directed by a network of respected local leaders, including young mullahs or religious leaders, Arsa has to organize cells in hundreds of villages. He has tried to start uprisings by sending large numbers of ordinary villagers, armed with agricultural tools, to overflow police posts, a deviation from his previous approach of parking armed militants in uniformed camps, the ICG added.

"However, operating under the cover of the civilian population is no longer possible given that there are few Rohingya peoples left, and most of the group's organizers and combatants are now in the camps in Bangladesh."

  • 626,000

    Number of Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since August, according to UN estimates.

"The group may change to cross-border attacks, which would require different training, access to weapons and operational space in Bangladesh," the ICG said, adding that it could point to "opportunistic security objectives in northern Rakhine or Attack any non-Muslim villager resettled on Rohingya land, an easier target. "

The ICG warned that such attacks could escalate between Bangladesh and Myanmar, which could lead to clashes between the armies of the two countries. They would also reinforce anti-Rohingya sentiment within Myanmar and push for stronger security measures, hampering the chances of the refugees returning.

Attacks on Rakhine Buddhists would also inflame anti-Muslim sentiment and tilt the central state of Rakhine, hitherto untouched by recent violence: in crisis, the report adds.

Dr. Subir Bhaumik, advisory editor of Mizzima Media in Myanmar, told The Straits Times that the number of organized cells led by respected religious leaders is not large: only 30 squads in northern Rakhine. Arsa seeks to eliminate the Rohingya moderates, he said.

He echoed the ICG's view that Arsa will switch to cross-border insurgency and turn to Rohingya recruits in refugee camps in Bangladesh. The group will also attack non-Rohingyas, especially the ethnic Rakhines, based in Rohingya lands.

"But the current government of Bangladesh is determined not to encourage Arsa because it has close links with (Bangladeshi) terrorist groups such as JMB," Jama'at ul Mujahideen Bangladesh said.

The ICG also warned against the imposition of international sanctions on Myanmar due to the Rohingya refugee crisis. He said that politicians should be "under no illusion" that such sanctions would bring about a positive change, and in fact could worsen the situation.

"Its most likely effect will be to push the government, the army and the population even closer and to reinforce current narratives in Myanmar that the West is a fickle friend and an unreliable partner," the report said.

Dr. Oh Su-Ann, visiting member of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, told The Straits Times that foreigners seeking to facilitate the situation could help by trying to negotiate peace and reconciliation or by donating money to help deal with it with the humanitarian crisis.

He said: "It would help if the international community provided badistance to both governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar, while reducing their blatant criticism, as these would only succeed in increasing the attitude of us against them in Myanmar"

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