UN decries ‘alarming’ rise in Rohingya deaths at sea in 2022 - Al Jazeera English

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More than 3,500 Rohingya refugees attempted oversea crossing past year, fleeing their Myanmar homeland oregon Bangladesh.

Published On 17 Jan 2023

The UN has decried the “alarming” emergence successful the fig of Rohingya refugees mislaid astatine oversea fleeing their Myanmar homeland oregon Bangladesh past year, informing much would dice without concerted action.

More than 3,500 Rohingya attempted oversea crossings successful 2022, representing a immense summation connected the twelvemonth before, erstwhile immoderate 700 radical made akin journeys, UNHCR, the United Nations exile agency, said connected Tuesday.

“UNHCR has recorded an alarming emergence successful the decease toll. At slightest 348 individuals died oregon went missing astatine oversea successful 2022, making it 1 of the deadliest years since 2014,” spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo told reporters successful Geneva.

She said that 3,040 Rohingya who attempted to fly by oversea disembarked past year, chiefly successful Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Nearly 45 percent of those who did truthful were women and children.

A woody vessel with a salient bow connected the formation successful Aceh, Indonesia. Dozens of Rohingya travelled successful the vessel coming ashore successful precocious December aft weeks astatine sea.A villager pulls a enactment connected a woody vessel utilized by Rohingya radical successful Pidie, Aceh province, Indonesia [File: Amanda Jufrian/AFP]

“Most boats departed from Myanmar and Bangladesh, highlighting the increasing consciousness of desperation amongst Rohingya successful those 2 countries,” Mantoo said.

“Those who person disembarked study that they undertook these unsafe oversea journeys successful an effort to find protection, security, household reunification, and livelihoods successful different countries,” she said.

“Among them are victims of trafficking, unaccompanied and separated children, and survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence.”

Several boats that departed successful December remained astatine oversea arsenic of the extremity of the year, Mantoo said, adding that 1 vessel is feared to person sunk with astir 180 radical connected board.

‘A situation of solidarity’

A subject crackdown successful Myanmar successful 2017 sent hundreds of thousands of bulk Muslim Rohingya fleeing into neighbouring Bangladesh with harrowing stories of murder, rape and arson.

Myanmar has faced genocide accusations astatine the UN’s apical tribunal pursuing the wide exodus.

Mantoo said calls by UNHCR to maritime authorities to rescue and disembark radical successful distress person gone unheeded, with galore boats adrift for weeks.

“The existent situation successful the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea is simply a situation of solidarity,” she said.

UNHCR has called for a afloat determination response, addressing quality trafficking, hunt and rescue efforts and enactment successful countries wherever Rohingya refugees disembark.

It besides wanted to spot efforts to code the basal causes of wherefore Rohingya are fleeing Myanmar.

Mantoo said that without specified a response, “more radical volition dice connected the precocious seas” arsenic radical undertake unsafe journeys successful hunt of safety.

The UNHCR connection came arsenic Human Rights Watch alleged that Rohingya refugees person been suffering widespread abuse astatine the hands of an elite Bangladesh constabulary unit.

The Armed Police Battalion is engaged successful the rampant extortion, harassment and wrongful arrests of Rohingya refugees it has been tasked with protecting, the US-based rights radical said connected Tuesday.

The portion has been operating successful camps lodging astir 1 cardinal members of the stateless number since 2020.

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