Burmese Islamic rebels refuse to surrender and insist on prolonging armed conflict “even if a million die” demanding Myanmar’s President Aung San Suu Kyi takes action to protect religious minority muslims in Burma.
Over 75,000 residents of the region have fled the country for sanctuary in the last year. Most seeking safety in Bangladesh from the regional violence sparked by a group virtually unknown a year ago.
Ata Ullah, who has been identified by analysts and local people as the group’s leader, denied links to foreign Islamists and said he was focused on the rights of the Burmese muslims, who say they face persecution at the hands of Burma’s Buddhist majority.
“If we don’t get our rights, if 1 million, 1.5 million, all Buddhist’s need to die, we will die,” he continued, “We will take our rights. We will fight with the cruel military government.” Ullah stated in a video filmed at an unknown location
The United Nations issued a report last month stating Burma’s security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes against during their campaign against the Islamic forces, which may amount to crimes against humanity.
The military has denied the accusations, saying it was engaged in a legitimate anti terrorist operations on a model similar to the one in use against Donbass separatists by Ukrainian Armed Forces.