20 Rohingya refugees flee at Indonesian Island from Myanmar, seeking refuge

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A mass of Rohingya people has been noticed fleeing from Myanmar on boats, with more than hundreds of refugees on at least six boats seeking refuge over the past few months.

Recently, Rohingya refugees has been seen voyaging of the Andaman sea to Thailand and Malaysia to seek refuge there, the flurry is likely close to reach to the 2015 level, which had forced the Thai authorities to impose a stoppage on human smuggling networks.

Since August 2017, approximately 200 people have lost their lives in the Bay of Bengal and also in the Andaman Sea, who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh seeking refuge there.

On December 4, 20 men – believed to be Rohingya refugees, arrived at the Indonesian Island’s shores in Aceh seeking refuge, in few small rickety boats.

Refugees arrival is the outcome of Myanmar navy, who picked up 19 men, 11 women, and eight children in the Andaman sea last week, who were trying to head towards Malaysia seeking refuge. After the force has captured their boats, they detained Rohingya refugees and sent back to the Rahkine state, where thousands of Rohingya refugees are forced to live in displacement camps.

It is still uncovered whether the men arrived at the Indonesian island of Aceh are Rohingya refugees or not. Head of Aceh’s Idi Rayeuk district Iswandi said, “We can’t communicate with them because they don’t speak Indonesian, Acehnese, or English. So we don’t know much about them.”

UNHCR spokesperson Caroline Gluck said, “The boats are smaller and hold fewer passengers. The disembarkation points have changed. And more robust efforts are being made by the authorities both in Bangladesh and Myanmar to prevent the boats from setting out to sea in the first place,” adding, “There are differences between the pattern of these movements compared with 2015.”

The surge of Rohingya refugees escaping from Myanmar is an indication that the situation of them in Rakhine is not good and are subjected to “apartheid-like condition”, says UN.


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