12 die as boat carrying Rohingya refugees capsizes off Bangladesh

Michele Moreno
October 11, 2017

Standing next to newly erected tents clustered on a hillside, Abdul Malek explains one of the biggest problems faced in Rohingya Refugee Camps, the more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar for the relative safety of Bangladesh. Ten of these were children and the other two were a man and an elderly woman, a Border Guard Bangladesh member told AFP.

More than half a million Rohingya have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks on police posts prompting a military crackdown in late August.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says at least 515,000 Rohingya have entered Bangladesh since Aug 25.

Mostly Buddhist Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens, even though many have lived there for generations.

Asif Saleh, a senior director with the Bangladeshi relief organization BRAC, said it was targeting installation of 15,000 latrines by October 15 in Rohingya Refugee Camps.

The West has invested politically in Myanmar leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has faced scathing worldwide criticism for not doing more to stop the violence. Their boat had been carrying between 60 and 100 people and was crossing the Bay of Bengal when it capsized.

"We deeply regret the reaction from global countries based on the news without truth", said the lawmaker.

The influx has also put Bangladesh under enormous strain, with the South Asian country already hosting at least 300,000 Rohingya refugees in squalid camps along its border with Myanmar before the latest surge in arrivals.

"Even the worldwide pressure has so far failed to refrain Myanmar military from implementing its long-term depopulation plan for Rohingyas", added Mahmood.

World Vision is sounding the alarm on the extreme mental health issues affecting children among Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.

Last week, an average of 2,000 people a day crossed from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

Authorities have destroyed at least 30 wooden fishing vessels whose captains are accused of smuggling Rohingya and illegal drugs into the country.

The trawler capsized near the river's Gholar Char point Sunday night.

Other reports by Insurance News

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