World Bulletin / News Desk
ARSA whose attacks triggered an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state unleashing a huge wave of refugees said Saturday their one-month ceasefire would end in two days, but added they were open to a peace deal if the government offered it.
"The humanitarian pause was conducted in order to enable humanitarian actors to assess and respond to the humanitarian crisis in Arakan (Rakhine)," the statement said.
"If at any stage, the Burmese government is inclined to peace, then ARSA will welcome that inclination and reciprocate," it added, using the former name for Myanmar.
The statement did not include any direct threats of new violence.
Myanmar's government spokesman did not respond to requests for comment Saturday but has previously said the country does not "negotiate with extremists".
The shadowy, poorly-armed ARSA tipped northern Rakhine into crisis when it ambushed police posts on August 25.
The army responded with a sweeping crackdown that the UN says amounts to ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority, who have faced decades of persecution.
More than half a million Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the last six weeks, an exodus that has spiralled into one of the world's most urgent refugee crises.
In its statement, ARSA said it had helped provide "safe passage" to refugees fleeing to Bangladesh.
While the worst of the bloodshed appears to have abated in recent weeks, tens of thousands of Rohingya continue to stream over to Bangladesh, passing through a violence-scarred region where hundreds of villages have been reduced to smouldering ash.
Rohingya refugees and rights groups have accused the army of setting the fires with the help of Buddhist vigilante mobs.
But the military has denied the charge, instead accusing militants of razing their own homes to drum up global support and committing other atrocities against Buddhists and Hindus.
AFPLast Mod: 08 Ekim 2017, 21:10