Bangladesh pledges tough action against killers of Rohingya leader

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Mohib Ullah, a Rohingya Muslim leader, was killed by unknown gunmen at a camp in Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladesh’s foreign minister on Saturday vowed “severe action” against the murderers of Rohingya refugee leader Mohib Ullah as demand grew to investigate his shooting.

Mohib Ullah, who was in his late 40s, was murdered Wednesday night by unknown gunmen at a camp in Cox’s Bazar. He led one of the largest community groups to emerge since more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar after a military crackdown in August 2017.

“The government will take strict action against those involved in the murder. No one will be spared,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said in his first comment since the assassination.

Momen said in a statement that “vested” interests were responsible for the killing, because Mohib Ullah had wanted to return to Myanmar. “The killers of Mohib Ullah must be brought to justice.”

Mohib Ullah was known as a moderate who advocated the return of the Rohingya to Myanmar with rights denied them during decades of persecution.

He was the leader of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, founded in 2017 to document the atrocities against the Rohingya in their native Myanmar and give them a voice in international conversations about their future.

But his high profile made him a target of hardliners and he received death threats, he told Reuters in 2019. “If I die, I’ll be fine. I’ll give my life,” he said at the time.

The killing has sparked grief and anger in the camps, the world’s largest refugee settlement, where some residents interviewed by Reuters say the killing is the latest evidence of increasing violence as armed gangs and extremists battle for power.

In a video circulating on social media, his brother, Habib Ullah, who said he witnessed the shooting, blames the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an armed group operating in the camps.

“They killed him because he is the leader and all the Rohingya adhere to him,” Habib Ullah said. Before opening fire, “they said he cannot be a leader of the Rohingya and there can be no leaders for the Rohingya,” he said.

Reuters was unable to independently verify his account. ARSA said in a Twitter post Friday that it was “shocked and saddened” by the murder and “pointing the finger at baseless allegations and hearsay allegations”.

More than a million Rohingya live in the camps, the vast majority having fled neighboring Myanmar in a military crackdown following the coup that the United Nations says was carried out with genocide intent.

Myanmar denies committing genocide and says it was waging a legitimate campaign against insurgents who attacked police posts.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)

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