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Rohingyas Reject Involvement of Qaeda, ISIS in Rakhine Conflict

Rohingyas Reject Involvement of Qaeda, ISIS in Rakhine Conflict

Friday, 15 September, 2017 - 07:00
Rohingya refugees are seen at Thaingkhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have denied any links to global terror groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) wrote on Twitter that “it is necessary to make it clear that it has no links with al-Qaeda, ISIS … or any transnational terrorist group.”

"We do not welcome the involvement of these groups in the Arakan (Rakhine) conflict,” the group said in a statement posted on its Twitter account.

ARSA called on states in the region “to intercept and prevent terrorists from entering Arakan and making a bad situation worse."

The statement came after al-Qaeda issued a statement urging Muslims around the world to send aid, weapons and military support to the Rohingya in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.

Meanwhile, the United Nations appealed on Thursday for massive help for nearly 400,000 Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh, with concern growing that the number could keep rising, unless Myanmar ends what critics denounce as "ethnic cleansing".

The Rohingya are fleeing from a Myanmar military offensive in Rakhine that began after a series of guerrilla attacks on Aug. 25 on security posts and an army camp.

"We urge the international community to step up humanitarian support and come up with help," Mohammed Abdiker, director of operations and emergencies for the International Organization for Migration, told a news conference in the Bangladeshi capital. The need was "massive", he added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council on Wednesday urged Myanmar to end the violence, which he said was best described as ethnic cleansing.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said on Thursday that Myanmar is facing a "defining moment" and must stop the violence against the Rohingya population.

“I think it is important that the global community speak out in support of what we all know the expectation is for the treatment of people regardless of their ethnicity," he added.

"This violence must stop, this persecution must stop."

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