Ceasefire ends tomorrow, say Rohingya militants

YANGON • Rohingya militants whose attacks triggered an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state yesterday said their one-month ceasefire would end in two days, but added that they were open to a peace deal if the government offered it.

In a statement released on its Twitter account, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) said its unilateral truce would end at midnight on Oct 9.

"The humanitarian pause was conducted in order to enable humanitarian actors to assess and respond to the humanitarian crisis in (Rakhine)," it said.

"If at any stage, the Burmese government is inclined to peace, then Arsa will welcome that inclination and reciprocate," it added, using the former name for Myanmar.

Myanmar's government spokesman did not respond to requests for comment yesterday but has previously said the country does not "negotiate with terrorists".

The shadowy, poorly-armed Arsa tipped northern Rakhine into crisis when it ambushed police posts on Aug 25.

The army responded with a sweeping crackdown that the United Nations says amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

More than half a million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the last six weeks, an exodus that has spiralled into one of the world's most urgent refugee crises.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 08, 2017, with the headline 'Ceasefire ends tomorrow, say Rohingya militants'. Print Edition | Subscribe