Rohingya refugee boat sinks, leaves 14 dead on Myanmar beach
The boat reportedly left Sittwe in western Myanmar on May 19 and encountered rough seas before capsizing two days later.
Police said 14 bodies were discovered washed up on a beach in Myanmar on Monday, with a local rescue group saying some were Rohingya attempting to reach Malaysia.
According to the UNHCR, at least 17 people are missing after their boat capsized including Rohingya children.
The group was attempting to reach Malaysia, a local rescue organization reported.
On his account, Tun Shwe, a police spokesperson in Pathein district, around 200 kilometers west of Yangon, said: "Fourteen dead bodies were found, and 35 people including the boat owners were rescued alive”.
Although the full details are unknown, the UNHCR reported that the boat left Sittwe in western Myanmar on May 19 and encountered rough seas before capsizing two days later.
A member of Myanmar Rescue Organization Pathein who requested anonymity affirmed that eight bodies were discovered on a beach about three hours from the district capital on Sunday.
12 women and two boys were killed, according to a Rohingya activist.
The boat was carrying people from the western Myanmar towns of Buthidaung, Maungdaw, and Sittwe, according to the activist, who also requested anonymity.
Survivors told the rescue team that 61 people were on board the ship, with 12 still missing.
Those who had been saved were being held at the Pathein police station, according to spokesperson Tun Shwe.
He did not say whether any would be charged, as is often the case with Rohingya caught attempting to flee Myanmar.
In 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled a military crackdown in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, recalling disturbing stories of murder, rape, and arson.
Every year, hundreds of Rohingya embark on perilous, months-long boat journeys to other parts of Southeast Asia, most often between November and March, when the sea is safest for the small trawlers used by traffickers.
Those apprehended are frequently sent to detention centers, which rights groups allege are overcrowded and filthy.
It is worth mentioning that the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has lately announced that the number of internally displaced people (IDP) in Myanmar is growing, with more humanitarian supplies required to secure their survival.
In a statement, the UNHCR said, "Some 440,000 people have been newly displaced since February 2021, according to UNHCR data, adding to an existing 370,000 who fled their homes previously."
Meanwhile, the number of individuals forced to abandon their homes to escape wars, violence, human rights violations, and persecution has surpassed 100 million, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), with conflicts throughout the world exacerbating the crisis.
According to UNHCR estimates, the number of people forcibly displaced from their homes reached 90 million by the end of 2021 as a result of new waves of violence or ongoing hostilities in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.