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Rescue requires stranded boat holding 200 Rohingya refugees

JAKARTA: Southeast Asian politicians known as Tuesday for the rescue of a ship carrying as many as 200 Rohingya refugees together with ladies and youngsters stranded at sea for a number of weeks.
Hundreds of the largely Muslim Rohingya, closely persecuted in Myanmar, threat their lives annually in lengthy, costly sea journeys — typically in vessels in poor situation — attempting to achieve Malaysia or Indonesia.
The boat carrying the refugees has been reported in waters near Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and India within the Andaman Sea and the Malacca Strait, one of many world’s busiest transport routes.
“We urgently name on ASEAN member states and different nations within the area to… launch search and rescue operations,” mentioned ex-Indonesian MP Eva Sundari, who’s a member of advocacy group ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), in an announcement.
“It’s disgraceful {that a} boat full of males, ladies, and youngsters in grave hazard has been allowed to stay adrift.”
Charles Santiago, a former Malaysian MP and chairman of APHR, mentioned in the identical assertion that the delay in rescuing the stranded refugees doubtless “has already prompted untold struggling and lack of life”.
The vessel’s present location is unknown and it’s unclear when or precisely from the place it departed.
However not less than one relative of a passenger hoping to achieve Malaysia informed AFP he was taken to the boat in deep waters by a small fishing trawler from Bangladesh.
Sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh are house to some a million Rohingya, lots of whom fled neighbouring Myanmar after a 2017 navy crackdown bringing accounts of rape, arson and killings.
However the dire situations of Bangladesh’s overcrowded camps have compelled many to flee once more.
Rohingya activists and family members of a few of these aboard the vessel informed AFP it had been adrift at sea for not less than two weeks.
The United Nations refugee company (UNHCR) mentioned final week that the boat has been in waters since late November, and it had obtained reviews of not less than a dozen folks dying on board.
These remaining had no entry to meals or water, it mentioned.
Noor Habi, a resident of a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, mentioned her 23-year-old daughter Munuwara Begum was on the stranded boat and had spoken to her sister by walkie talkie.
“We’re in peril. Please save us,” her daughter Begum mentioned, in keeping with an audio clip of the decision.
“There is no such thing as a meals and water with us and there’s no one to avoid wasting us from this drowning boat.”
The Indonesian navy didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
On December 8, greater than 150 Rohingya have been rescued close to the Thai coast from a waterlogged boat on its technique to Indonesia from a refugee camp in Bangladesh, in keeping with the Myanmar junta.

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