Rohingya rebels declare one-month ceasefire
Criticism of Aung San Suu Kyi’s handling of the crisis continues
Rohingya insurgents in Myanmar have declared a one-month unilateral ceasefire to ease the humanitarian crisis in the north of the country.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) said the truce was due to start on Sunday, and urged Mynamar’s army to lay down weapons as well.
The UN has appealed for urgent donations of £58m to provide for the influx of Rohingya, which has put a “massive strain” on existing camps. Bangladesh already hosts around 400,000 Rohingya from previous crises.
News of the ceasefire comes amid mounting criticism of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi over her handling of the crisis. Almost 300,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since renewed violence between state security forces and the minority group began more than two weeks ago.
The Rohingya, frequently described as “the world’s most persecuted minority”, are a mostly Muslim ethnic group, who have lived in majority Buddhist Myanmar for centuries.
They claim the military and Rakhine Buddhists are waging a brutal campaign against them, burning their villages and deliberately forcing them to leave the country, but “the government says fleeing Rohingya set fire to their own homes to foment fear and anti-state anger”, reports The Daily Telegraph.