Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP, Mardan) have posted of a “gift” of a new electronic course for mujahideen in Burma (also known as Myanmar) and Bangladesh. The statement comes via Abid Mansoor. The course “Jihad Electronic in Burmese” is 112 pages long, handwritten in different colour inks on lined paper with a series of drawings and diagrams. The posting on social media drew 40 “shares” on Facebook alone since it appeared on 16th January.
This news comes as more and more information emerges of alleged human rights abuses against Rohingya muslims in Burma (denied by the state). There is pressure on the United Nations to establish an official investigation into what may constitute crimes against humanity, see following link,
“Statement from Rohingya Communities Worldwide Request OIC to support UN Commission of Inquiry”
According to Al Jazeera (Nov 2016) there are also concerns that boats carrying Rohingya from Burma “have been turned away by Bangladesh as thousands amass on the border”. AJ states,
“Dhaka says thousands more are massed on the border, but has refused urgent international appeals to let them in, instead calling on Myanmar to do more to stop people fleeing.
In the past two weeks, Bangladeshi border guards have prevented more than 1,000 Rohingya, including many women and children, from entering the country by boat, officials told AFP.”
In sharp contrast Hefazat-e-Islam a coalition of several Islamist groups in Bangladesh have organized rallies in the capital city of Dhaka demanding the government do more to shelter those escaping persecution. According to the BBC,
“The organisations in the Hefazat coalition are based at more than 25,000 madrassas, or religious schools, across Bangladesh.
Teachers at these madrassas belong to these organisations and all students are brought out en masse to participate in street rallies and marches.”
Is the persecution of Rohingya fuelling new insurgent groups in the region?
Today the New York Times reported on an October assault where an insurgent group “announced its existence with a predawn attack on three Myanmar border guard posts. Hundreds of Rohingya militants, armed mainly with knives and slingshots, killed nine police officers and seized weapons and ammunition.” See following story,
Aung San Suu Kyi First, State Counsellor and Leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize has been heavily criticised for her inaction with regard to protecting Rohingya. An Independent report highlighted,
“An open letter to the UN Security Council, signed by 23 peace laureates, leaders and activists, warns the offensive has killed hundreds of Rohingya people and condemns Burmese State Counsellor Ms Suu Kyi for ‘not taking any initiative to ensure full and equal citizenship rights of the Rohingyas’”.
It now seems extreme persecution of Rohingya could increasingly fuel an extreme response. There are also fears that Myanmar’s government and military will come down heavily on Rohingya following any insurgent strikes whether people are actively involved or not and this could be used as an excuse for further aggression. As Patrick Winn stated in the Global Post, “the government has announced “full strength” operations to take out suspected insurgents. So far, more than 40 are dead, mostly men accused of militancy by the government.”
Groups such as TTP Mardan outside the country are clearly keen to engage with militants or “would-be” fighters in Burma and Bangladesh and have years of experience fighting the military within Pakistan and Afghanistan. News of an online course on offer from the group will surely set alarm bells ringing with state authorities whose oppression of Rohingya may have unleashed an oncoming wave of violent retaliation.
“Myanmar’s newest insurgent group is a nightmare for Muslims”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.