Rohingya flee refugee camps
DOZENS of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Bangladesh have boarded boats to try to reach Malaysia, officials said yesterday.
Officials detained 33 Rohingya and six Bangladeshis aboard a fishing boat bound for Malaysia in the south-eastern part of the Bay of Bengal, said Foyezul Islam Mondol, the head of the coast guard in south-eastern Teknaf upazila. Six Bangladeshis were also arrested, he said.
More than 700 000 Rohingya, members of a persecuted Muslim minority, fled Rakhine following an army-led crackdown last year, settling in sprawling Bangladeshi refugee camps, according to UN agency figures, while hundreds of thousands remain inside the country in internal displacement camps and villages.
The new departures come as Myanmar prepares to take some of the refugees back after agreeing with Bangladesh to start repatriation next week, despite opposition from Rohingya, who say they will not return without guarantees of basic rights. The UN has said conditions in Rakhine are not conducive for returns.