“Nearly 600 Rescued Off Northern Indonesia, Thought to Be Rohingyas”
Reuters, May 10, 2015
“Nearly 600 migrants thought to be Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were rescued from two wooden boats stranded off the coast of Indonesia’s northern Aceh province, authorities said on Sunday. The overcrowded boats, which were carrying nearly 100 women and dozens of children among the refugees, were towed to shore by fishermen after running out of fuel. ‘According to the information we have so far, the people on board are from Myanmar. They are Muslim, from the Rohingya community,’ said Mohammed Arif Mutaqin, spokesman for the Aceh Search and Rescue Agency. The migrants left Thailand about seven days ago and some died during the journey, authorities said. … An estimated 25,000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis boarded people-smugglers’ boats in the first three months of this year, twice as many in the same period of 2014, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday. An agency official estimated that around 300 people had died at sea in the first quarter of this year as a result of starvation, dehydration and abuse by boat crews.”
Quickie analysis: The other, overlooked refugee boat crisis.