Indonesia: Boat engine broke down during sea voyage, 26 Rohingya died in agony2 min read
Pidi (Indonesia). At least 26 Rohingya Muslims have died on the high seas in a month of perilous sea travel, a UN agency said on Tuesday, while some other refugees reached safety in Indonesia. At least 185 men, women and children disembarked in a dilapidated wooden boat at Ujong Pai beach in the coastal village of Muara Tiga in Pidi district of Aceh province on Monday evening, officials said. In a video circulating on social media, Rohingya refugees can be seen looking weak, exhausted and pleading for help.
Local police chief Fauji said, ‘They have become very weak due to lack of water and fatigue after being at sea for a few weeks.’ The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said survivors told the agency that 26 people had died during the long journey. One refugee said they left a refugee camp in Bangladesh in late November and continued to travel across the open sea. The refugee, Roseyid, said that at least 20 people died due to high waves and disease, and their bodies were thrown into the sea.
According to the UNHCR, more than 2,000 people have made dangerous sea voyages in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal this year, and nearly 200 have died. The agency has also received unconfirmed reports that another boat with about 180 people on board is missing and all passengers are believed to be dead. Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, an organization working for Myanmar’s Rohingya refugees, said the latest cases of influx were from five groups of Rohingya who entered Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district to avoid being detained by the local coast guard. The refugees left the camps on small boats. After this they were sent on five big boats.
Myanmar’s security forces have been accused of burning homes, mass killings and rapes of minority Rohingya Muslims. Many refugees have been coming to Malaysia by sea route but they have been taken into custody.
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Tags: Indonesia, Rohingya Muslims
FIRST PUBLISHED : December 27, 2022, 21:06 IST