Rohingya Muslims who paid hundreds of dollars to flee camps in Myanmar by boat are destitute since they were stopped at sea and returned, according to the UN’s refugee agency.
Images of hungry and thirsty Rohingya huddled on boats have stirred memories of a 2015 crisis, when thousands of fleeing Rohingya were stuck at sea as a trafficking trail south collapsed.
Some 120,000 of the stateless Muslim minority have languished in camps in central Rakhine for six years since a bloody bout of intercommunal violence with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.
The end of the monsoon brings more favourable, if still treacherous, sailing conditions for those desperate to escape the camps that are branded as “open-air prisons” by rights groups and where Rohingya have little access to work, education or healthcare.
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One Rohingya boat this week made it to Aceh on the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra but several others have been picked up in Myanmar waters and those on board sent back to the camps.
Many of the Rohingya had sold or lost all their possessions, including their shelters, to pay the extortionate fees to traffickers, UN refugee agency spokeswoman Aoife McDonnell told AFP.
Sep 27, 2020Bangladesh is hosting more than one million Rohingya, a mainly Muslim minority community who are stateless, most of whom fled following a wave of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017. “More than three years have elapsed. Regrettably, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated. The problem was created by Myanmar, and its solution must […]
Sep 26, 2020