Rohingya rebel group (ARSA) calls for cease-fire in Myanmar


Rohingya rebel group on Sunday declared an immediate unilateral one-month ceasefire. Via a statement on Twitter, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) called on the military to also lay down weapons and allow humanitarian aid to all affected people.

Rohingya insurgents have declared a monthlong temporary cease-fire to enable aid groups to help ease a humanitarian crisis in northwest Myanmar

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) said in a statement the cease-fire would start on Sunday.

"ARSA strongly encourages all concerned humanitarian actors resume their humanitarian assistance to all victims of the humanitarian crisis, irrespective of ethnic or religious background during the cease-fire period," ARSA said in a statement.

In its statement on Twitter, ARSA called on the military to also lay down weapons and allow humanitarian aid to all affected people.

Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.

In a report, UN investigators said the human rights violations constituted crimes against humanity.

Fresh violence erupted in Myanmar's Rakhine state nearly two weeks ago when security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya community.

Bangladesh, which already hosted around 400,000 Rohingya refugees, has faced a fresh influx of refugees since the security operation was launched.

On Saturday, the UN said at least 290,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh.

The UN has appealed for urgent donations of $77 million to provide for the Rohingya refugees.

ARSA has been operating in the northern Rakhine state. Its attacks against Myanmar security forces were first reported in October 2016.

Zaw Htay, director general of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi's office, said on Sunday that ARSA was considered a terrorist organization by Myanmar's government.

"We have no policy to negotiate with terrorists," he told Anadolu Agency by phone Sunday.

He added that the government has been working with international organizations such as the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) to distribute aid to displaced people.

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