Exclusive: ‘We are not terrorists,’ says Rohingya guerilla commander

Latest update : 2017-09-27
Nearly half a million people have fled violence in Burma in recent weeks, as global furore mounts over authorities’ treatment of Rohingya Muslims. Now for the first time, a Rohingya guerilla leader speaks to FRANCE 24 about taking up arms.

In late August, insurgents from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) staged a series of coordinated deadly attacks against Burmese authorities. In conversation with FRANCE 24, one of the Rohingya guerilla group’s commanders sheds light on ARSA amid accusations it is linked to hardline Islamic extremists.

“We are not terrorists, we are not Islamic State group and we are not a Bangladeshi terrorist organisation,” says local ARSA commander Armen. “We don’t want help from Al Qaeda. We want donations from sovereign states.”

FRANCE 24’s Cyril Payen, Shona Bhattacharyya and Mayssa Awad bring you this exclusive report above from the refugee camps along Bangladesh’s border with Burma.