PIDIE, Indonesia — Rohingya Muslims who survived a harrowing 40 days on a ship throughout the Indian Ocean to finish up in Indonesia have recounted tales of starvation and desperation, saying greater than 20 of these on board died on the way in which.
A ship that washed ashore in Indonesia’s Aceh province on the island of Sumatra on Monday was carrying 174 Rohingya, most of them dehydrated, fatigued and in want of pressing medical care after weeks at sea, native catastrophe company officers mentioned.
One of many survivors, Shafiq Rahman, mentioned 200 individuals had set sail on a small boat from Bangladesh in an try to succeed in Muslim-majority Indonesia, and 26 of them died at sea.
“We had been afloat within the sea for 40 days,” he mentioned, including that meals provides grew skinny after 10 days and the rickety boat quickly sprang a leak.
“We reached this place secure and sound by grace of Allah,” he mentioned in a brief shelter in Pidie district, the place dozens of individuals had been hooked to intravenous drips as medics attended to their wants, whereas a lady was seen fanning sleeping youngsters utilizing a chunk of cardboard.
The Rohingya are a Muslim individuals from primarily Buddhist Myanmar, the place they’ve lengthy suffered repression. Round 800,000 have fled to Bangladesh since 2017, and hundreds have fled to locations additional afield throughout Southeast Asia.
Shafiq and others got here to Indonesia to raised their lives and discover a possibility to review, he mentioned.
One other survivor, Samusa Khatun, mentioned she got here to Indonesia to flee destitution and discover a job.
Theirs was the newest in a collection of boat landings and rescues across the area in current weeks, as Rohingya flee determined situations in Bangladeshi refugee camps and persecution in Myanmar in growing numbers.
One boat carrying 180 individuals is believed to have sunk in early December, with all on board presumed useless, based on rights teams. The United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mentioned on Monday that 2022 could possibly be one of many deadliest years at sea in nearly a decade for the Rohingya.
Rohingya trying sea crossings to Thailand and Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia usually set off between November and April when seas are calmer.
Indonesia has seen almost 500 Rohingya attain its shores up to now six weeks, based on the UNHCR. The safety ministry mentioned in a press release on Tuesday that the federal government was working with the Worldwide Group for Migration and the UNHCR to maneuver the Rohingya into shelters in close by cities.