Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Youtube
Rohingya Deserve Non-violent Leadership
Rohingya Deserve Non-violent Leadership
Myanmar Foreign Minister and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi attended the opening ceremony of the Union Peace Conference at Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital city, on 12 January 2016. AFP/Ye Aung Thu
Briefing 149 / Asia

缅甸和平进程:实现政治对话

在历经了近70年的武装冲突之后,缅甸正面临着一个少有但逐渐消逝的机遇,即最终达成一个可容纳各方的联邦解决方案。政府须以更灵活的方式来打消反对派的疑虑,武装团体则不应在预备会谈中原地踏步,并参与到实质性的讨论中。

概述

在当前政府任期内通过政治谈判达成协议是解决缅甸近70年武装冲突的最佳机会。该冲突不仅使少数民族的生活苦不堪言,还阻碍了整个缅甸的发展。昂山素季及其政府已将和平进程视为其首要任务。尽管前任政府也做出过类似尝试,但昂山素季无疑具备了众多优势,例如她在国内的政治名望、广泛的选民支持和强有力的国际支持,包括中国给予的条件性支持。在这些因素的推动下,几乎所有武装团体都参加了8月31日开始的彬龙-21和平会谈,而前任政府则没能做到这一点。但若要取得真正的进展,政府和武装团体还需调整其采取的方法,并尽快开始进行实质性政治对话。

彬龙-21会议的重要意义不在于其内容,而在于其广泛接纳了各武装团体。但其面临的挑战仍不容低估。对许多武装团体而言,与会并不意味着支持进程,而是因为他们别无选择。他们之间,有多方认为其受到不公对待,而且会议组织混乱无序。最大的反对派武装组织佤邦联合党(UWSP)更是仅仅派遣了一个低级别的代表团,并于次日退出了会议。而近数月来,战斗不断升级,缅甸军方还动用了空中武力和远程轰炸,这则进一步破坏了各方之间的信任。

这些问题虽并非出人意料;而关键在于和平进程是否具备应变的韧性。彬龙-21会议虽已宣布,其将每六个月定期举行(下次会议定于2017年2月),但这一生硬拘泥的时间表无法为克服障碍提供必要的灵活性。同时,另一挑战则是,政府的和平秘书处,即民族和解与和平中心(NRPC)缺乏足够的权能。说服多数武装团体签署《全国停火协议》(NCA)将需要艰难的谈判。而政府和军方均已明确表明,NCA是其参与未来政治对话进程——此后的彬龙-21会议及相关讨论——的必要条件。但如果军方继续在地面采取强硬姿态,那这一过程将会更加困难。

先已有八个武装团体于2015年10月签署了《全国停火协议》,但至少仍有十支武装力量保持怀疑。包括佤邦联合党在内的一些组织已经有了更好的实质性自治制度,并担心签署停火协议会削弱他们的地位。其他力量则担心,一旦他们签署协议,新政府会采取更单边的和平进程措施,并将强制推行政治解决方案,而非通过谈判寻求和解。另还有三支未签署双边停火协议的武装团体则至政府要求于不顾,即拒绝发表在原则上停止武装斗争的声明。

政府应考虑在和平会议上采用更灵活的时间表,并在整个和平进程中克制单边强势的态度,从而给予各武装团体信心;其还应确保民间社会、女性和青年能更多地参与和平进程;并采取措施确保民族和解与和平中心在能力上得到必要的支持。

各武装团体则需要认识到,虽然他们对这一进程有正当的疑虑,但他们不太可能再有更好的、通过谈判达到政治解决的机遇。昂山素季已表示坚决支持联邦和民主的解决方案,而且她具备实现和平所需的、前所未有的政治名望,特别来自多数缅甸选民的支持。开始讨论方案轮廓的时候已经到了,各方不应继续在预备步骤上徘徊。

其它选择则差强人意,且时间并不站在武装份子一边。除非双方抓住当前的机遇,不令通过谈判达成和解的可能性失之交臂,否则接下来将多半是旷日持久的乱局,如此一来,少数民族的苦衷将难以得到解决,他们提出的联邦制度、平等待遇等要求更是无法实现。这不仅将破坏缅甸边境地区的和平稳定,更会阻扰缅甸成为一个繁荣、宽容、民主的国家。

仰光/布鲁塞尔,2016年10月19日

Op-Ed / Asia

Rohingya Deserve Non-violent Leadership

Originally published in Asia Times

In August 2017, the flight of 700,000 Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar produced the world’s newest refugee crisis – and one of its worst. Now stuck in miserable camps in Bangladesh, the Rohingya have little prospect of returning to their homes any time soon.

Their suffering is primarily a grave humanitarian concern and the Bangladeshi government and its foreign partners should focus their response on protecting the well-being of those displaced and assisting host communities. But the Rohingya’s plight also raises a so far unspoken question: Will they wait patiently to return in a safe and dignified manner – for now an unrealistic goal – or will the main militant organization in their midst lead them to pursue their goals with violence?

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) formed in 2012 in the wake of strife among Buddhists and Rohingya in Myanmar’s underdeveloped and conflict-ridden northern Rakhine state. The group leveraged the anger and desperation of Rohingya facing daily oppression as an ethnic and religious minority. Through communal leaders, ARSA propagated a message of hope while in fact bolstering its position via a combination of claims to religious legitimacy and fear.

The militants are now attempting to re-establish themselves as a political voice in the Bangladesh camps. But it’s not too late for the refugees to establish non-militant leadership and self-governance.

ARSA does have sympathizers in the camps, but its authority is less clear than before the mass exodus. In the view of many Rohingya, it was ARSA’s attacks on Myanmar police that provoked the country’s brutal, indiscriminate military campaign forcing them into exile. Foreign governments and human-rights organizations have branded this campaign as ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide.

Not all refugees hold ARSA responsible for the calamity that befell them. Some adopt the view that, whether or not ARSA’s attacks had taken place, the Myanmar authorities would have found a way to drive the Rohingya from their land.

The Rohingya’s plight is likely to worsen before it improves ... While Bangladesh has thus far been hospitable to the refugees, the political climate could easily turn against them, particularly in the event of ARSA violence on Bangladeshi soil.

But ARSA was also responsible for killings of civilians, both Rohingya and their Hindu neighbors, as it sought to eliminate perceived informants. After careful analysis, Amnesty International concludedthat ARSA massacred dozens of Hindu villagers in August 2017. The group exposed Rohingya civilians to Myanmar’s massively disproportionate response. Its militants did not wear uniforms or do anything else to distinguish themselves from the civilian population, and they launched attacks from the cover of villages.

Since the refugee exodus, ARSA has continued its insurgency, claiming responsibility for an attack on a Myanmar convoy in January. It has also been linked to several killings in the camps.

In October last year, 47 Rohingya religious scholars issued a fatwa condemning any act of jihad, even for self-defense, against Myanmar. But Crisis Group’s May report suggests that this ruling does not necessarily mean the Rohingya have abandoned ARSA or the idea of violent resistance. First, it was issued at the height of the exodus, when the scholars sought to reassure Bangladesh that the refugees were not a security threat. Second, it did not categorically reject violence, but rather denounced particular tactics the signatories viewed as premature or misguided.

Factors other than opposition to violence could hinder ARSA from representing the Rohingya. Village populations that once backed the militants are now scattered across the camps, new leaders (majhis) are emerging and the “common enemy” that ARSA rallied against – the Myanmar security forces – is far away across the border. Most refugees are preoccupied with the daily struggle to establish basic standards of living in the camps.

Nor does it appear that transnational jihadist groups – that is, groups such as al-Qaeda in the South Asian subcontinent, Islamic State (ISIS) or their Bangladeshi affiliates – have been able to exploit the Rohingya crisis to mobilize or recruit in the camps. While concerns this might happen are legitimate given the security landscape in Bangladesh, there is no evidence that it is occurring, nor that a counterterrorism lens is useful for understanding the evolving situation in the camps.

The Bangladeshi authorities appear to share this assessment. Moreover, ARSA itself has always sought to distance itself from transnational groups.

But the Rohingya’s plight is likely to worsen before it improves. The monsoon season has arrived, threatening the camps with flooding. While Bangladesh has thus far been hospitable to the refugees, the political climate could easily turn against them, particularly in the event of ARSA violence on Bangladeshi soil.

The Rohingya need a non-violent leadership who can work to ensure their safe and voluntary return to their homeland.