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Exclusive: Myanmar’s Harakah al-Yaqeen say 'We are not terrorists'

  • Published at 08:37 pm March 29th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:21 pm March 29th, 2017
Exclusive: Myanmar’s Harakah al-Yaqeen say 'We are not terrorists'
Harakah al-Yaqeen, a guerrilla group fighting the subjugation of and potential genocide against the Rohingyas, have claimed they are not terrorists in their very first press release issued on March 29. “We do not associate with any terrorist group across the world," began the statement, which has already been circulated widely among the Rohingya people via social networks. “We do not commit any form of terrorism against any civilian regardless of their religious and ethnic origin as we do not subscribe to the notion of committing terrorism for our legitimate cause,” the release continues.
Also Read- Inside the Rakhine State insurgency
According to the group, which now identifies itself as Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the Rohingyas have been subjected since the 1970s to genocide and crimes against humanity in an effort on the part of several Burmese regimes and governments to “exterminate” them from their native Rakhine. “It becomes clear that the Aung San Su Kyi-led government is not in any position to change the situation while they are themselves being held as political hostages by the brutal Burmese junta.” “Therefore, in the current Burmese political landscape, it is also essential to deal with Commander-in-Chief Ming Aung Hlaing (incumbent Myanmar army chief), who is the mastermind of ongoing atrocities faced by Rohingyas.”
Also Read- Are terrorists infiltrating Rakhine state?
Signed by the group’s chief, Ata Ullah, the release also mentions the October 9, 2016 assault by Harakah al-Yaqeen on the Myanmar Border Guard outposts which killed nine policemen and triggered the latest crackdown by the military, culminating in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas from the Rakhine State. It says the “defensive attack” was launched to  "salvage and protect" the Arakan Rohingya community; a defence which according to them is their legitimate right under international law. Expressing a hope that the international community would fulfil its moral responsibility by sending peacekeeping forces into the Arakan State (Rakhine State), the group also sought political, financial, technical and logistic assistance to strengthen their “legitimate” cause.
Also Read- Wider support for Rohingya terrorists hints at further attacks
Stating their dedication toward continuing their “defensive” attack against the Myanmar regime, the group has also put forward a 20-point plan “in accordance with international human rights norms and principles" which they demand that the Myanmar Junta regime and government should be made to comply with.
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