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Rohingya militants condemn violence in refugee camps amid reports of killings

Rohingya militants condemn violence in refugee camps amid reports of killings

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militants confirmed the violence cases in the refugee camps, including a series of killings in Rakhine State. 

Since August 2017, the insurgents have been blamed for sporadic attacks in Rakhine State, including an ambush on a border guard post in January that wounded six. ARSA militants urge followers to refrain from crime in Bangladesh where many Rohingya have sought safety.

So far, the Rohingya Salvation Army emerged with attacks on border posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2016. The militants are focused on winning rights for Rohingya, the mostly stateless Muslim minority long persecuted in Myanmar.

The conflict started in 2016, is echoing with multiple reports on violence from both sides. The government calls them terrorists and says sweeping military action in the western state of Rakhine, which triggered an exodus of refugees into Bangladesh, was justified.

In February, Bangladesh-based media has blamed the group for organised violence in the refugee camps, even a series of killings. The group acknowledged the violence but denied that the leadership sanctioned it. In the video statement posted via Twitter, the group said those are not only going against the Bangladesh government but “are also making ARSA responsible for their own crimes”.

“And because of their activities the whole community is being defamed all over the world,” the group said.

ARSA expressed gratitude towards the Bangladesh government and urged refugees to “refrain from any wrongdoing” against authorities there, where close to a million Rohingya are living.

Since August 2017 when the insurgents attacked Myanmar security forces and triggered the extensive military response, more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh from the western part of Myanmar, confirmed the UN report. Despite the accusations of violence and killings, the Myanmar military has rejected almost all accusations of rights abuses.