Rohingya rescued by the Bangladesh Coast Guard after a rough two-month sea voyage have been put under the care of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR officials told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
“Our primary concern is for people’s immediate health and first aid needs. NGOs and partners on the ground have been providing food and other support overnight,” Louise Donovan, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told Anadolu Agency in a written statement.
Some 382 members of the oppressed Rohingya ethnic group who tried to flee to Malaysia through the risky sea route were rescued off Cox’s Bazar, southern Bangladesh Wednesday night. About 30 reportedly died en route.
“We understand these men, women and children were at sea for nearly two months in harrowing conditions and that many of them are extremely malnourished and dehydrated,” Donovan said.
She added that they are seeking further information from local authorities.
Some Rohingya, frustrated over an uncertain peaceful repatriation in their home country Myanmar, try to leave Bangladesh to go to other countries for a better future.
This February, 15 Rohingya died in the Bay of Bengal when a boat carrying some 130 Rohingya capsized. They were also heading to Malaysia through the same risky sea route.
Some one million Rohingya live in refugee camps in southern Bangladesh, having fled a campaign of ethnic cleansing and terror in neighboring Myanmar in 2017. They have been called the world’s most persecuted people.