UN Urges Countries to Help Rohingya at Sea as Hundreds Land in Indonesia

4 weeks ago 14

PIDIE, Indonesia—The United Nations refugee bureau (UNHCR) urged countries connected Tuesday to assistance Rohingya Muslims stranded astatine oversea arsenic astatine slightest 20 reportedly died and hundreds much landed successful Indonesia aft weeks adrift successful the Indian Ocean.

Nearly 500 Rohingya person reached Indonesia successful the past six weeks portion “many others did not enactment contempt galore pleas and appeals for help”, the UNHCR said successful a statement.

It said connected Monday that 2022 could beryllium 1 of the deadliest years astatine oversea successful astir a decennary for the Rohingya with a increasing fig of them fleeing hopeless conditions successful exile camps successful Bangladesh. One vessel carrying 180 radical is believed to person sunk successful aboriginal December, with each connected committee presumed dead, according to rights groups.

The Rohingya person agelong been persecuted successful Buddhist-majority Myanmar. For years galore person fled to neighboring states similar Thailand and Bangladesh, and to Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia betwixt November and April erstwhile seas are calmer.

Nearly 1 cardinal unrecorded successful crowded conditions successful Bangladesh, including galore of the hundreds of thousands who fled a deadly crackdown successful 2017 by Myanmar’s military, which denies committing crimes against humanity.

Rights groups person recorded a important summation successful the fig leaving the camps, from astir 500 past twelvemonth to an estimated 2,400 this year. It is not wide what is driving the larger exodus. Some activists judge the lifting of COVID restrictions astir Southeast Asia, a favored destination for the Rohingya, could beryllium a factor.

‘Dangerous Voyages’

A vessel washed ashore successful Aceh state connected the Indonesian land of Sumatra connected Monday carrying 174 Rohingya, astir of them dehydrated, fatigued and successful request of urgent aesculapian attraction aft weeks astatine sea, section catastrophe bureau officials said.

Some survivors recounted stories of hunger and desperation, saying much than 20 of the passengers died connected the 40-day travel from Bangladesh to Indonesia, arsenic nutrient supplies ran bladed and the vessel sprang a leak.

“We came present from the largest Bangladesh exile campy with the anticipation that the Indonesian radical would springiness america the accidental of education,” said Umar Farukh, who spoke successful a structure crowded with Rohingya men, women and children receiving attraction from Indonesian medics.

Thai authorities said aft rescuing six radical recovered clinging to a h2o vessel floating successful the Andaman Sea that the survivors reported their vessel being denied entree to Malaysia and turning backmost towards Bangladesh.

Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Monday’s landing successful Indonesia was the latest successful a bid of Rohingya vessel landings and rescues astir the portion successful caller weeks, prompting Bangladesh authorities to effort and halt radical from risking their lives connected boats to Southeast Asia.

“We’re doing everything imaginable to halt them from taking the unsafe voyages,” Bangladeshi Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Mizanur Rahman told Reuters precocious connected Monday.