Rohingya insurgents regrouping to fight Myanmar state

Rohingya insurgents regrouping to fight Myanmar state

The militants were forced to flee and an exodus of some 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh followed.

Late last year, global medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya had died violently during the exodus last year, mostly from gunshot wounds, but the government of Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, has blocked numerous attempts by outside groups to investigate on the ground.

Myanmar prosecutors sought charges on Wednesday against two Reuters reporters under the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, the reporters' lawyer said.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) launched raids on the Myanmar security forces on August 25, which sparked sweeping counter-insurgency operations in the Muslim-majority north of Rakhine State that led to widespread violence and arson and an exodus of some 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh.

Family members have said the two told them they were arrested nearly immediately after being handed some documents by the officers they had gone to meet.

Myanmar police officers stand guard at the Yebawkya village of the Maungdaw township in Rakhine State, western Myanmar, on September 27 past year, after the discovery of 10 bodies buried in a mass grave in a village in northern Rakhine state on September 2. Several had the message "journalism is not a crime" or "release the arrested journalists now" on their T-shirts.

"It is one of the most striking examples of how targeted the burning has been in the military's campaign", Wells said in a phone call.

He suggested that the government accept the Rohingya refugees back, help them resettle because most of their villages and homes were burned during the crackdown, and give them back their rights. "This incident happened because ethnic Buddhist villagers were threatened and provoked by the terrorists".

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Myanmar's government does not recognise the term "Rohingya", and insists that the minority are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The military went on to state, "the army will take charge of those who are responsible for the killings and who broke the rules of engagement".

It is not the refugees, but the insurgents that are complaining that they have not been consulted on the plan.

A statement from the military commander-in-chief said that the four soldiers had killed 10 "Bengali terrorists" in Inn Din village near Maungdaw.

"This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army's policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing", James Gomez, Amnesty International's regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.

She painted a harrowing picture of the situation in Rakhine, noting that prior to August 25, when the most recent outbreak of violence occurred, Unicef had been treating 4,800 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition; these children are no longer receiving this life-saving treatment, according to UN News Centre.

Myanmar plans to begin repatriating about 100,000 Rohingya refugees on January 22, though rights groups, the United Nations, and Rohingya leaders themselves have warned against a hasty return. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.

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