Crackdown driving communities to extremes
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