On 25 August 2017, the Rohingya Liberation Organization launched 25 simultaneous attacks against police stations and barracks located in the coastal State of Rakhine. The result: 71 deaths.

The partners in this operation were a group of Bengalis, which had broken away in 2016 from the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen over the slogan “Jihad from Bengal to Bagdad”. This group swore allegiance to Caliph Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi and brings together under one coalition the Indian Mudjahideens, Al-Jihad, Al-Ouma, the Students of Islam Movement in India (SIMI), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Pakistani entity, Harkat-ul Jihad-al Islam (HuJI). This association was funded by the foundation, The Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) based in Kuwait.

In 2016, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey and Nato armed this coalition.

The Rohingyas are descendants of Bengali workers, of different ethnic groups. They had been uprooted by the British to exploit Burma. The Rohingyas are not so much an ethnic minority, rather, a sociological minority.

Upon Burma’s independence, the Rohingyas were assimilated into the Burmese population. However they are Muslim, and were never truly integrated into the Buddhist population of Rakhine. It is clearly the case that they have lost their nationality.

Following the construction of a gas pipeline linking the Burmese port of Kyaukphyu to the Chinese city of Kunming, the CIA has backed the Rohingyas against Myanmar.

Following the 25 August attacks, the Burmese government of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi has launched an operation to repress the Liberation Rohingya Organization. Some think that the army probably had then committed abuses on villages inhabited by the Rohingyas. Others think quite to the contrary, that they are agent provocateurs who would have come to burn the villages. That said, it is the case that almost 125, 000 people have fled Myanmar and have sought asylum in Bangladesh. Extremely concerned that jihadists may be co-mingling with these refugees, Dacca has detained them at the border.

When Aung San Suu Kyi received the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Presidential Palace of Naypyitaw, on 6 September, she denounced international terrorism. The two parties have published a joint statement denouncing the “extremist violence in the state of Rakhine and specifically the violence against the security forces and the way civilian lives have been impacted.”

Propaganda emanating from the West and the Gulf present the events in the state of Rakhine as Buddhist aggression against a Muslim minority.

Anoosha Boralessa