ARSA accused of killing a Rohingya pacifist leader in Cox's Bazar
For the victim’s brother, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army feared his popularity, and “often threatened to kill” him. Recent reports point to infiltration by radical Islamists among exiled Rohingya. Following the assassination, Bangladeshi authorities have boosted police presence in all 34 refugee camps on its territory.
Cox's Bazar (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A murder in Bangladesh has sent shockwaves across the Rohingya refugee community in that country.
Mohib Ullah, a 48-year-old former teacher, was shot dead by gunmen in Cox's Bazar yesterday afternoon.
Founder and leader of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH), an association that campaigns for the rights of Rohingya refugees, Ullah spoke to the United Nations in 2019.
Very popular among the 850,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar due to the repression by the country’s military, he was talking to people outside his office in the Kutupalong camp when he was killed.
His family and aides blame the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Rohingya militia fighting the Myanmar military, for Mohib Ullah’s death. ARSA did not look favourably to the growth of an alternative leadership in the refugee camps.
"ARSA forces have committed this murder. They often threatened to kill my brother from different (phone) numbers," the victim’s brother, Habib Ullah, told AFP.
"His peaceful activism angered ARSA," added Nur Khan Liton, another activist from the group founded by Mohib Ullah, now present in all the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.
In the summer of 2017, ARSA attacks against the Myanmar military triggered the campaign in Rakhine State that drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees out of the country and into refugee camps in Cox's Bazar where they joined other Rohingya who had fled before.
ARSA has been accused several times of having links with radical Islamism, and recruiting people in refugee camps.
A spokesman for the local police said that after Mohib Ullah’s killing, security measures were tightened in all 34 camps hosting refugees from Rakhine.