THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
August 28, 2017
Asia Times

Rohingya Insurgency Declares 'Open War' in Myanmar

by Mike Winchester

The surprise wave of lethal attacks by Rohingya militants on police and army posts in Myanmar's western Rakhine State, their largest operation to date, was a defensive move aimed at pre-empting an escalating security force crackdown on both the rebels' military wing and Rohingya civilian communities, a senior militant official has told Asia Times.

Speaking in an exclusive interview on the day after the attacks of August 25, the militant official said the campaign of Myanmar military suppression and the rebel counter-punch has now pushed the majority Muslim northern region of Rakhine state into a state of "open war." He vowed "continued resistance" until Rohingya demands for the restoration of citizenship rights within Myanmar are met.

In a wide-ranging interview, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) representative who identified himself simply as ‘Abdullah', insisted that the military crackdown had gathered pace following the reinforcement of security forces by an estimated 400 troops of the crack 33rd Light Infantry Division on August 10-11.

He said it had left the militants no choice other than to strike back in defense of civilian communities facing what he described as further killings and abuses by security forces. . . .

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[Burma's president has admitted an unprecedented wave of ethnic violence has targeted his country's Rohingya Muslim population, destroying whole villages and large parts of towns.--Peter Beaumont, "Burma's Leader Admits Deadly Attacks on Muslims," Guardian, October 27, 2012]

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