Rohingya militants say they have 'no links' with global terror
 
, Posted on 14-Sep-2017


Rohingya militants say they have 'no links' with global terror

Yangon : Rohingya militants, whose raids in western Myanmar provoked an army crackdown that spurred a humanitarian crisis, denied any links to global terror groups on Thursday, days after Al-Qaeda urged Muslims to rally to their cause.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) says it is trying to defend the minority group from a long campaign of persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where the Rohingya are denied citizenship.

But its actions have plunged a region, already a crucible of religious and ethnic tension, deeper into crisis.

Around 380,000 Rohingya have sought sanctuary in Bangladesh since the outbreak of violence three weeks ago, fleeing burning villages and alleged army atrocities, joining what has become one of the world's largest refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.

Nearly 30,000 Buddhists and Hindus have also been displaced inside Rakhine.

Rights group say Myanmar's army has used the ARSA's attacks as cover to try to push out the estimated 1.1 million Rohingya population.

Myanmar's government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, has denied the allegations.

It labels the militants as "extremist terrorists" who want to impose Islamic rule over a portion of Rakhine state.

They have also previously described the group as harbouring fighters who have trained with the Pakistani Taliban, ideas that have become the currency of arguments among the mainly Buddhist public for why the crackdown is justified.

Al-Qaeda on Tuesday urged Muslims around the world to support the Rohingya cause and "make the necessary preparations -- training and the like -- to resist this oppression" in a statement on Telegram.

ARSA has repeatedly distanced itself from the agenda of international jihad, instead insisting its claims are local and in defence of major state repression.

"ARSA feels that it is necessary to make it clear that it has no links with Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Lashkar-e-Taiba or any transnational terrorist group," the group said in a statement posted on its Twitter account. 

"We do not welcome the involvement of these groups in the Arakan (Rakhine) conflict. ARSA calls on states in the region to intercept and prevent terrorists from entering Arakan and making a bad situation worse." 

According to the International Crisis group, ARSA is steered by Rohingya emigres in Saudi Arabia and commanded in the field by overseas-trained guerilla fighters.

But most of its recruits are armed with crude weapons like machetes and sticks. 

Analysts warn the treatment of the Rohingya -- and the huge number of new angry and dispossessed refugees in Bangladesh -- is rich pickings for militant Islamist recruiters.

The refugee camps in Bangladesh are bursting at the seams, with aid groups and authorities scrambling to erect new shelters and provide food and medical support to an endless tide of hungry and traumatised arrivals. 

More than 100 Rohingya have died while making the perilous boat crossing over to Bangladesh, with two more bodies, including a one-month old baby, washing up on shore on Thursday. 

Two thirds of the Rohingya refugees are children, according to the UN, hundreds of whom have arrived in Bangladesh alone after being split from their families in the swirl of violence. 

AFP


Related News

Palestine ‘to cut  US ties’ over office
Nov 20

Palestine ‘to cut US ties’ over office

Ramallah : The Palestinians will freeze their ties with the US if it follows through on a threat to close the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington, a senior PLO official warned. The surprise American move and Palestinian backlash came as US President Donald Trump seeks bargaining chips...

Read More
Germany bans sales of children’s smartwatches
Nov 19

Germany bans sales of children’s smartwatches

Berlin : Germany’s telecoms regulator has banned the sale of “smart watches” that can be used by parents to check on their children, saying the devices violated Germany’s strict surveillance laws. The Federal Network Agency said it had already taken action against several firms that sell...

Read More
Xi offers support  for Saudi Arabia
Nov 19

Xi offers support for Saudi Arabia

Beijing : China has offered support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and achieve greater development. Speaking by telephone, President Xi Jinping told Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz that China’s determination to deepen...

Read More
Hariri promises to return for Independence Day
Nov 19

Hariri promises to return for Independence Day

Paris : Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in France yesterday from Saudi Arabia, where his shock resignation announcement two weeks ago sparked accusations that he was being held there against his will. Hariri is in Paris at the invitation of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who is attempting...

Read More
UN climate negotiations not  derailed after US pullout
Nov 18

UN climate negotiations not derailed after US pullout

Bonn (Germany) : Negotiations to bolster the climate-saving Paris Agreement, crafted over two decades, closed in Bonn yesterday, deflated but not derailed by Donald Trump’s rejection of the treaty and defence of fossil fuels. The US President’s decision to yank the United States from the hard-fought...

Read More
Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador from Germany
Nov 18

Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador from Germany

Riyadh : An official source at Saudi Arabia’s ministry of foreign affairs said, in comments on the incorrect statements made by German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel during a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart, that such remarks provoke the surprise and disapproval of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which...

Read More
Israel wants Saudi ties to defeat Iran
Nov 18

Israel wants Saudi ties to defeat Iran

Jerusalem : Israel’s military chief has given an “unprecedented” interview to a Saudi newspaper underlining the ways in which the two countries could unite to counter Iran’s influence in the region. Speaking to the Saudi newspaper Elaph, Gen Gadi Eisenkot described Iran as the “biggest...

Read More
Dubai Airshow reaches new heights
Nov 18

Dubai Airshow reaches new heights

Dubai : The doors close Thursday on another record-breaking Dubai Airshow, with the order book stood at almost 113.8 billion U.S. dollars.  Trade visitors to the event were up around 20 percent on the 2015 event, with some 79,380 people entering the purpose-built hall at Al Maktoum International Airport,...

Read More
Saudi anti corruption drive enters new phase
Nov 18

Saudi anti corruption drive enters new phase

Beirut/Riyadh : Saudi authorities are striking agreements with some of those detained in an anti-corruption crackdown, asking them to hand over assets and cash in return for their freedom, sources familiar with the matter said. The deals involve separating cash from assets like property and shares, and...

Read More
Iraqi forces recapture last IS-held town
Nov 18

Iraqi forces recapture last IS-held town

Baghdad : Iraqi forces yesterday captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic State control, signalling the collapse of the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate. Rawa’s capture marks the end of Islamic State’s era of territorial rule over a so-called caliphate that it...

Read More