Myanmar Crisis Spurs U.N. Session, al Qaeda Threat

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Military drives Rohingya to Bangladesh, drawing scrutiny on Aung San Suu Kyi and a militant call to arms.

A push by the Myanmar military to clear Rohingya villages and drive hundreds of thousands of members of the Muslim ethnic group into Bangladesh is drawing the attention of two international groups: the United Nations Security Council and al Qaeda.

The council was set to meet Wednesday to discuss the crisis amid charges that the military leadership that runs the country alongside Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is pursuing a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar says it is battling a group of “extremist militant terrorists,” the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA.

Ms. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate now facing international scrutiny of her handling of the crisis, on Wednesday canceled her trip to the U.N. General Assembly in New York to deal with domestic security issues, the Myanmar government said.

And al Qaeda’s central leadership urged Muslims to travel to Myanmar and support the Rohingya “financially, militarily, and physically.”

“The savage treatment meted out to our Muslim brothers in Arakan by the government of Myanmar…shall not pass without punishment,” it said through its media arm, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

The militant group at the center of the crisis, ARSA, and its founder, Ata Ullah, say it is defending the Rohingya and highlighting decades of repression the Muslim group has endured in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where most have lived along the border with Bangladesh.

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