Fishermen discover 94 stranded Rohingya Muslims at sea

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Fishermen discover 94 stranded Rohingya Muslims at sea

3 Indonesian fishermen have discovered about 94 Rohingya Muslims on a rickety wooden boat off Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh.

While disclosing this on Wednesday June 24, 2020, Muhammad Jamil, a local police officer, stated that the stranded Rohingya Muslims were 15 men, 49 women, and 30 children.

Jamil added that they were hungry, weak and at the same time dehydrated after a two-week voyage.

He stated further that the Rohingya jumped onto the fishermen’s boat crying for help.

“The boat’s engine stopped while about to reach the shore, and as of Wednesday they remained on the boat waiting for the local government to declare whether or not they are willing to accept them,” Jamil said.

Jamila however said that while they are awaiting instructions from the government as to as what to do with the Rohingya on boat, authorities provide them food and water, and the village provide them clothes.

“We are still waiting for further instructions on what we should do with them,” jamil said.

Explaining further the condition of the recued Rohingya, Jamil said there wasn’t any clues as to their destination because they speak neither English nor Malay.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, a boat carrying about 200 Rohingya was denied entry into the country in April for fear of coronavirus.

There have been reports that indicate a large number of Rohingya are fleeing ongoing persecution in Myanmar while many are trying to escape hardship they experience in refugee camps where they live.

Human right activist have expressed concerns that many of the Rohingya people especially a persecuted Muslim minority from majorly Buddhist Myanmar might get stuck on boats at sea.

Since 2017 about 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar following a clearance operation launched in response to an attack from a rebel group. Security forces have faced accusations over killings, mass rapes and destruction and burning of homes.

Rohingya, believed by Myanmar authorities to have illegal migration history from Bangladesh, have been denied citizenship since 1982 despite the fact that many have lived in Myanmar for several decades.

The Rohingya have also been repeatedly denied rights to freedom of movement and education which further complicates their state of existence in Myanmar.

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