Death toll in Rohingya boat accident off Bangladesh rises to 38

Posted September 02, 2017

Together with his wife and five-year-old daughter Abdullah they cooked sticky rice, fetched plastic sheets and empty water bottles, preparing for a 20 km (12 miles), days-long trek in the monsoon rain through the mountains to the border.

In September 2016, the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Office of the State Counsellor - in collaboration with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi - established an Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.

Speaking to reporters in northwestern Kocaeli province, another Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık said that it is unacceptable that the world is "unfortunately blind and deaf to these persecutions".

Dhaka: Rescuers recovered 15 more bodies on Friday after a boat carrying Rohingya migrants capsized in Bangladesh, raising the toll to 38, officials in Bangladesh said.

About 1 million Rohingya live in western Myanmar's Rakhine state, and conflicts between insurgents and security forces there have become increasingly deadly.

The plight of the Rohingya made worldwide headlines in 2015 when thousands of Rohingya were left stranded on boats in southeast Asia with no food or water because no country was willing to welcome them. Thousands of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and other local ethnic groups have also been displaced.

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Myanmar evacuated more than 11,700 "ethnic residents" from the area affected by fighting, the army said, referring to the non-Muslim population of northern Rakhine.

More than 400 Hindus from Rakhine have also crossed into Bangladesh, after armed men attacked their village, killing and looting.

The plea filed by two Rohingya immigrants said they were facing persecution in Myanmar and the decision to send them back was in violation of global conventions.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Friday (Sep 1) of a looming humanitarian catastrophe in western Myanmar and urged the country's security forces to show restraint after 400 people - a lot of them Rohingya Muslims - died in communal violence. This is because they got stuck in the border before they could enter. In 2009, a United Nations spokeswoman even described the Rohingya as "probably the most friendless people in the world".

Rohingya people find refuge at a camp near the town of Ukhia in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district, August 29, 2017.

Bangladesh already hosts 400,000 Rohingya and does not want more. In the first six days after the August 25 attacks, the International Organization for Migration said at least 18,000 Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh. She warned the number was likely to be revised upward.

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"We are working with the Bangladeshi authorities and our partners to provide life-saving assistance, including temporary shelter, food and medical treatment for those who need it", Tan said.

Why are Rohingya refugees stranded in no-man's land?

Numerous new arrivals were women and children, including heavily pregnant women, she said.

Bangladeshi border guards have tried to keep them out, but usually relent when pressured, and thousands could be seen Friday making their way across muddy rice fields.

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and regarded as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots that date back centuries. They have often met grisly fates at the hands of human traffickers and even the coastguards of other nations.

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