Rohingya Solidarity Organisation

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Rohingya Solidarity Organisation
Participant in the Rohingya conflict
Logo of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation.png
Active 1982 (1982)[1]–1998 (1998) (military defunct)
Ideology Rohingya nationalism
Leaders Muhammad Yunus
Mohammad Zakaria[2]
Area of operations Rakhine State,
Bangladesh–Myanmar border
Originated as Rohingya Patriotic Front
Became Rohingya National Army

Union of Myanmar

Battles and wars

Rohingya conflict

Flag Flag of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation.png

The Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (abbreviated RSO) is a Rohingya political organisation founded in 1982, following a large scale military operation conducted by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces). The group was formerly a militant organisation, but have been militarily defunct since their armed branch merged into the Rohingya National Army (RNA) in 1998.

Regional experts in Rakhine State previously disputed the existence of the RSO as an active militant force after the early 2000s.[3] The government of Myanmar blamed the RSO for attacks on border posts in October 2016[4] until the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army claimed responsibility.[5]


In the early 1990s, the military camps of the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) were located in the Cox's Bazar District in southern Bangladesh. RSO possessed a significant arsenal of light machine-guns, AK-47 assault rifles, RPG-2 rocket launchers, claymore mines and explosives, according to a field report conducted by correspondent Bertil Lintner in 1991.[6]

The military expansion of the RSO resulted in the government of Myanmar launching a massive counter-offensive to expel RSO insurgents along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. In December 1991, Tatmadaw soldiers crossed the border and accidentally attacked a Bangladeshi military outpost, causing a strain in Bangladeshi-Myanmar relations. By April 1992, more than 250,000 Rohingya civilians had been forced out of northern Rakhine State (Arakan) as a result of the increased military operations in the area.[7]

In April 1994, around 120 RSO insurgents entered Maungdaw Township in Myanmar by crossing the Naf River which marks the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar. On 28 April 1994, nine out of twelve bombs planted in different areas in Maungdaw by RSO insurgents exploded, damaging a fire engine and a few buildings, and seriously wounding four civilians.[8]

On 28 October 1998, the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation merged with the Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front and formed the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO), operating in-exile in Cox's Bazaar.[7] The Rohingya National Army (RNA) was established as its armed wing.

One of the several dozen videotapes obtained by CNN from Al-Qaeda's archives in Afghanistan in August 2002 allegedly showed fighters from Myanmar training in Afghanistan.[9] Other videotapes were marked with "Myanmar" in Arabic, and it was assumed that the footage was shot in Myanmar, though this has not been validated.[7][10] According to intelligence sources in Asia,[who?] Rohingya recruits in the RSO were paid a 30,000 Bangladeshi taka ($525 USD) enlistment reward, and a salary of 10,000 taka ($175) per month. Families of fighters who were killed in action were offered 100,000 taka ($1,750) in compensation, a promise which lured many young Rohingya men, who were mostly very poor, to travel to Pakistan, where they would train and then perform suicide attacks in Afghanistan.[7][10]


  1. ^ "Rohingya Solidarity Organization | Facebook". Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Arakan Rohingya National Organisation - Myanmar/Bangladesh | Terrorist Groups | TRAC". Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Experts Reject Claims of 'Rohingya Mujahideen' Insurgency". 15 July 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Myanmar: Fears of violence after deadly border attack". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Islamist fears rise in Rohingya-linked violence". Bangkok Post. Post Publishing PCL. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  6. ^ Lintner, Bertil (19 October 1991). Tension Mounts in Arakan State. This news-story was based on interview with Rohingyas and others in the Cox’s Bazaar area and at the Rohingya military camps in 1991: Jane’s Defence Weekly.
  7. ^ a b c d "Bangladesh Extremist Islamist Consolidation". by Bertil Lintner. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Rohingya Terrorists Plant Bombs, Burn Houses in Maungdaw". Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Rohingyas trained in different Al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Afghanistan". By William Gomes. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Bangladesh: Breeding ground for Muslim terror". by Bertil Lintner. Retrieved 21 October 2012.

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