Rohingya militants say ceasefire to end on October 9


The rebels launched coordinated attacks on about 30 security posts and an army camp on August 25 with the help of hundreds of disaffected Rohingya villagers, many wielding sticks or machetes, killing about a dozen people.

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 Rohingya issue has the potential to "destabilise" the region, though it is a humanitarian issue at present, Bangladesh said on Friday.

"If at any stage, the Burmese government is inclined to peace, then ARSA will welcome that inclination and reciprocate", the group said in a statement.

When the ARSA announced its one-month ceasefire from September 10, a government spokesman said: "We have no policy to negotiate with terrorists".

Bangladesh police were Sunday searching for a man who defied a ban and married a Rohingya refugee, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled across the border to escape violence in Myanmar.

IMO said it appealed this week to nations for 120 million dollars through March to provide desperately needed aid to the Rohingya refugees who have flooded into Cox's Bazar over the past six weeks.

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Many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar consider the Rohingyas, who are mostly Muslims, as illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

"But when we come to Bangladesh, these people are calling us Rohingya...."

Hard-pressed Bangladesh authorities plan to expand a refugee camp at Kutupalong near the border town of Cox's Bazar to accommodate all the Rohingya. While the worst of the violence appears to have abated, insecurity, food shortages and tensions with Buddhist neighbours are still driving thousands of Rohingya to make the arduous trek to Bangladesh. He added that 331,000 Rohingya Muslims had already built makeshift shelters in the area where the construction of the proposed camp would be carried out. An equal number of Rohingya Muslims have previously fled Burma since 1978.

However, Robert Watkins, the United Nations resident co-ordinator in Dhaka, said overcrowding could heighten the spread of disease, which is already a problem among the refugee population.

Bangladesh had then said it would call the worldwide community for a verification process supervised by the UN.

"There are stronger possibilities, if there are any infectious diseases that spread, that will spread very quickly", he added, also highlighting fire risks.

An estimated 2,000 Rohingya are arriving in Bangladesh every day, Joel Millman of the International Organization for Migration, told a separate briefing.