Crack­down driv­ing com­mu­ni­ties to ex­tremes

Southeast Asia Globe - - Panorama -

Con­tin­ued mil­i­tary and para­mil­i­tary vi­o­lence in Myan­mar’s Rakhine State has been blamed for stir­ring up in­creased sup­port in the lo­cal Ro­hingya com­mu­nity for a small but vi­cious group of Is­lamist in­sur­gents. The group Harakah al-Yaqin – now call­ing it­self the Arakan Ro­hingya Sal­va­tion Army – would con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the mil­i­tary’s bloody crack­downs, said Zachary Abuza, a pro­fes­sor at the Na­tional War Col­lege in Washington and a spe­cial­ist in South­east Asian in­sur­gen­cies.

“The thing about any one of these groups at the very start is they’re so ex­treme, be­yond the pale of the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” he told South­east Asia Globe.

“And yet through gov­ern­ment bru­tal­ity and re­sponses, it’s a self-ful­fill­ing prophecy – they be­come main­stream. They’re not main­stream yet. But [the Myan­mar mil­i­tary is] mak­ing this prob­lem.”

Myan­mar po­lice pa­trol near KoeTanKauk bor­der guard po­lice post

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