Rohingya militants say ceasefire to end on October 9

2017-10-07 09:43
Rohingya Muslim refugees disembark from a boat on the Bangladeshi side of Naf river in Teknaf. (Munir uz Zaman/AFP)

Rohingya Muslim refugees disembark from a boat on the Bangladeshi side of Naf river in Teknaf. (Munir uz Zaman/AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Yangon - Rohingya militants whose attacks triggered an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state unleashing a huge wave of refugees said on Saturday their one-month ceasefire would end in two days, but added they were open to peace if the government reciprocated.

In a statement released through its Twitter account, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) said its unilateral truce would end at midnight on October 9.

"The humanitarian pause was conducted in order to enable humanitarian actors to assess and respond to the humanitarian crisis in Arakan (Rakhine)," the statement said.

"If at any stage, the Burmese government is inclined to peace, then ARSA will welcome that inclination and reciprocate," it said, using the former name for Myanmar.

It did not include any direct threats of new violence.

The armed group tipped northern Rakhine into crisis when it ambushed police posts on August 25.

The army's reprisal has been so sweeping and savage that the UN says it likely amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority, who have faced decades of persecution.

More than half a million Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh in six weeks, an exodus that has spiralled into one of the world's most urgent refugee crises.

In its statement, ARSA said it had helped provide a "safe passage" to refugees fleeing to Bangladesh.

While the worst of the bloodshed appears to have abated in recent weeks, tens of thousands of Rohingya continue to stream over to Bangladesh, passing through a violence-scarred region where hundreds of villages have been reduced to smouldering ash.

Sky-high tensions

Rohingya refugees and rights groups have accused the army of setting the fires with the help of Buddhist vigilante mobs.

But the military has denied the charge, instead accusing militants of razing their own homes to drum up global support.

Myanmar authorities have cut off access to the conflict zone, making it difficult to verify claims over who is driving the communal bloodshed that has intensified already bitter ethnic hatreds in Myanmar.

Aid groups have also been unable to reach vulnerable communities of Muslim Rohingya still living in the region, where tensions with Rakhine Buddhist neighbours are sky-high.

It is difficult to measure the fighting capacity of ARSA, a shadowy, poorly-armed group that claims to defend the Rohingya's political rights.

In the squalid refugee settlements sprouting up in Bangladesh, alleged ARSA recruiters have told AFP that they have enlisted hundreds who are willing to go back to Myanmar to fight.

Those claims could not be independently verified.

The Rohingya have faced decades of systematic repression in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, with many relegated to apartheid-like restrictions that analysts have long warned could breed extremism.

The government denies the existence of the Rohingya ethnicity, instead describing them as "Bengali" interlopers.

The view is widely shared by the Buddhist majority, who have shown little sympathy for the Rohingya, lavishing unexpected support on an army that once ruled the country with an iron fist.

Read more on:    myanmar  |  rohingya

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...



Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.