Myanmar has rejected news that Rohingyas are undergoing military training in the western state of Rakhine, saying that such a move could not be made within the country, according to Maungdaw Border Region Immigration Control Headquarter.
Lieutenant Colonel Htoo Hlaing told the Daily Eleven on Friday that such a kind of military training did not exist in Myanmar, describing it as a media hoax.
“Such a military training cannot be carried out in Myanmar and it is just a media trick. Bengalis here (in Rakhine state) are calm but I don’t know about Rohingya. We are working for regional peace and stability, relief and resettlement at a national level. We are shouldering security duties day in, day out,” said Htoo Hlaing.
On Wednesday, the Ar Rahmah website founded by Jemaah Islamiah (JI) member Muhammad Jibril Abdul Rahman uploaded 28 photos of Rohingyas undergoing military training in Rakhine state, billing it a “Ramadan gift” and hoping it would “encourage Muslims around the world to reignite jihad in Rakhine state”, international media reported.
Moreover, two Rohingya leaders travelled to Indonesia recently to meet hard-line groups in the hope of enlisting their support and assistance. The militants were in the market for more fighters, guns, cash and bomb-making instructors. The two were identified as cleric Abu Arif and militant commander Abu Shafiyah, linked to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), the reports said.
A local resident Rakhine State’s Maungdaw township said RSO was a grave concern for the local people as well as for the government.
“RSO was established in 1982. It has become stronger after 1988. On March 13, 1988, it attempted to occupy the whole Maungdaw township. RSO and its underground elements blew up nine bombs. There were also two other unexploded bombs. RSO members were trained by the Taliban in Afghanistan. We also heard training courses were conducted at four RSO outposts in the southeastern part of Bangladesh,” said local resident Tha Tha Maung.
“RSO has also invested in Myanmar, reportedly giving training to the Bengalis. Now it is almost formed with Bengalis and it is so complicated that we cannot distinguish them. It is a grave concern for the local people and the government. Security forces on their part fail to uncover the matter,” he added.
RSO members reportedly have trained in East Asia. Border immigration forces, police and military are constantly working for border security. The extension of the border fence between Myanmar and Bangladesh has been temporarily suspended due to the rainy season.