Somewhere in turquoise waters, perhaps where the Bay of Bengal meets the Andaman Sea, wooden boats filled with Rohingya refugees are listing, adrift now for more than 10 weeks.
They were prevented from docking in Malaysia, their preferred destination, and Bangladesh, their port of origin. As of this week, rights groups that had been trying to track the boats by satellite lost sight of them. Each boat — there were at least three — carried hundreds of Rohingya Muslims desperate for sanctuary and at the mercy of human traffickers.
“I feel like crying, realizing the situation of my brothers and sisters who are still floating in the deep sea,” said Mohammad Yusuf, a chief imam in one of the refugee camps in Bangladesh, where about one million Rohingya have taken refuge after fleeing waves of persecution and violence in neighboring Myanmar.
The boats had been caught in what the United Nations has called a dangerous “game of human Ping-Pong.” The Bangladeshi government balked at accepting them, arguing that it has already taken in many Rohingya and borne a far greater share of the burden in the refugee crisis than any other nation. Read more
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