Over 180 Rohingya refugees feared dead at sea

HEALTH workers check a Rohingya refugee who was feeling sick after his arrival by boat in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Sunday. (Photo: AFP)

At least 180 Rohingya who was trapped at sea for weeks after leaving Bangladesh in November are believed to have drowned this month, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

According to unsubstantiated sources, the agency believes the "unseaworthy" vessel sank after going lost at sea. "Relatives have lost communication," tweeted the UNHCR on Saturday.

Two Myanmar Rohingya advocacy groups reported last week that up to twenty people perished of hunger or thirst on a boat that was trapped at sea for two weeks off the coast of India. The vessel carrying at least 100 individuals was reportedly in the Malaysian seas. Sunday, after a month at sea, a boat carrying 57 Rohingya refugees landed on the western coast of Indonesia, according to police.

"Those last in contact assume everyone is dead" More than one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar reside in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh's Muslim-majority region, including tens of thousands who fled Myanmar in 2017 when its military launched a murderous campaign.

The Sri Lankan navy rescued 104 Rohingya who was adrift on the island's northern coast earlier this month.

Survivors land in Indonesia

Each year, thousands of the predominantly Muslim Rohingya, who are severely persecuted in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, risk their lives on long, costly, and frequently substandard maritime trips in an attempt to reach Malaysia or Indonesia.

The wooden watercraft carrying 57 men arrived on a beach in the westernmost Aceh region around 8:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT), according to provincial police spokesman Winardy.

"The boat's motor was damaged, and the wind brought it to a beach in Lading Village, Aceh Besar," said Winardy, who goes by one name.

They stated that they had been at sea for a month. Winardy noted that the police came to the beach after being notified by locals that the vessel had docked there.

He stated that four passengers were sent to a hospital due to illness.

The head of the local immigration office, Telmaizul Syatri, stated that the migrants would be temporarily accommodated at a government facility.

Syria stated, "We will collaborate with the International Organization for Migration and the UNHCR to ensure a successful resolution."

In recent months, this is the third Rohingya refugee boat to land in the predominantly Muslim nation of Indonesia.

According to the United Nations refugee agency, two boats carrying 229 Rohingya arrived in Aceh on November 15 and 16. (UNHCR).

Sunday's arrival comes after the UNHCR, and Southeast Asian lawmakers appealed for the rescue of a sailboat carrying up to 200 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, who had been trapped at sea for weeks.

This vessel has been spotted in one of the world's busiest maritime lanes, the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait, near Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India.

The UNHCR stated last week that the vessel has been at sea since late November and has received reports of at least a dozen deaths on board. Those remaining on the boat are without food or water.

Publish : 2022-12-26 08:39:00

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