DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – For the first time since the genocide against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in Aug. 2017, several leading organizations and prominent activists have formed a greater alliance titled “Arakan Rohingya National Alliance (ARNA)” with the aim to ensure the persecuted community’s safe and dignified survival in their homeland.
Nay San Lwin, a founding member of ARNA and co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition, told Anadolu Agency that a unified representation of the Rohingya was necessary at relevant international forums, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
Among the diaspora and refugee communities, Rohingya has dozens of organizations, but none of them is the only representative, Lwin said, adding that a stronger collaboration among Rohingya organizations was required to represent the entire community.
He accused the country’s military of genocide against the Rohingya and stated that the Myanmar army is not their ally.
The ARNA is expected to bring together many Rohingya leaders residing at home and abroad in order to achieve the right of “self-determination of the Rohingya people within the Federal Union of Myanmar,” the newly-formed organization said in a statement.
The leaders of the alliance were quoted in the statement as saying: “The Rohingya are not secessionists, but want to be a part of the future Federal Democratic Union of Myanmar. They expressed their desire to cooperate with all stakeholders inside Myanmar.”
For more than a half-century, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have been brutally murdered, raped, and tortured by Myanmar military and regime-sponsored non-state actors, the statement claimed.
The violence peaked in 2017, when Myanmar’s brutal military carried out the worst genocide of the 21st century in Northern Arakan/Rakhine State, forcing over a million Rohingyas to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, bringing the total number to 1.2 million in overcrowded camps in the border district of Cox’s Bazar.