Nearly 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced inside Myanmar after the military launched a counter-offensive against insurgents.

View of a burnt house following violence in in Maungdaw township in Rakhine State in Myanmar, September 6, 2017 .
View of a burnt house following violence in in Maungdaw township in Rakhine State in Myanmar, September 6, 2017 . (AFP)

Rohingya Muslim insurgents declared a unilateral one-month ceasefire, starting on Sunday, to enable aid groups to help ease a humanitarian crisis in northwest Myanmar.         

Nearly 300,000 Rohingya Muslim have fled to Bangladesh and 30,000 non-Muslim civilians have been displaced inside Myanmar after the military launched a counter-offensive following attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) insurgents on police posts and an army base on August 25.

In the last two weeks, thousands of homes have been burned down, dozens of villages uprooted and thousands of people are still on the move towards the border with Bangladesh.

The wave of hungry and traumatised refugees pouring into Bangladesh has strained aid agencies and local communities already helping hundreds of thousands displaced by previous waves of violence in Myanmar.

In its statement, ARSA called on the military to also lay down arms and allow humanitarian aid to all affected people.

Myanmar says its security forces are carrying out clearance operations to defend against ARSA, which the government has declared a terrorist organisation.

Rights monitors and fleeing Rohingya say the army and Rakhine Buddhist vigilantes have mounted a campaign of arson aimed at driving out the Muslim population.

"Stop the genocide"

Protesters gathered in London on Saturday to denounce the violence in Rahkine state.

Demonstrators called for the international community to step in and help bring an end to human rights violations in Myanmar.

“Stop Rohingya genocide” chanted protesters in front of 10 Downing Street.

“We need urgent UN intervention […] We need immediate action from Downing Street (the British government),” Burma Rohingya Organisation UK President Tun Khin said.

Similar demonstrations were held this week in Australia, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Scores of people also protested outside the Myanmar embassies in Tokyo and Manila on Friday.

Source: AFP