Rohingya missing after their boat sank in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region

RFA Burmese
2022.11.01
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Rohingya missing after their boat sank in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region A group of Rohingya who ran aground are seen at the Bogale Police Station in Myanmar in this undated photo.
Courtesy citizen journalist

A boat carrying at least 80 Rohingya sank when it ran aground near Pyapon township in Myanmar’s southern Ayeyarwady region.

About 20 are still missing and feared dead after Monday’s accident, local residents told Radio Free Asia.

“Only 60 people could be rescued, the remaining 20 just floated away,” a Pyapon resident told RFA on condition of anonymity over safety concerns.

“They told us there were more than 80 of them. They were sent … to Bogale Police Station,” said the man, adding that it was not clear whether the Rohingya came from Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Rakhine state or from Bangladesh.

The man said the Rohingya planned to go to Malaysia.

Among those rescued were 45 children who were being held at Bogale Police Station along with 15 adults, the local said. It is not clear whether the group will be prosecuted.

Junta spokesman Maung Maung Than, minister of Social Affairs for the Ayeyarwady region, did not respond to RFA requests for comment.

In September, 58 Rohingya were sentenced in Bogale township court to two years in prison each following their arrest a month earlier near an island in a river off Pyapon township. Pyapon lies on a tributary of the Ayeyarwady River about 15 km (9.3 miles) from the Andaman Sea.

RFA data compiled between December 2021 and September 2022 found that nearly 800 Rohingya who tried to leave Myanmar’s Rakhine state by land and water were arrested in different parts of country.

A military crackdown on the Rohingya, which started five years ago, led to more than 740,000 the ethnic minority Muslims fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh. Of the more than 600,000 Rohingya who stayed in Myanmar, an estimated 125,000 have been confined to IDP camps in Rakhine state.

This story was produced by Radio Free Asia, a news service affiliated with BenarNews.

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