13 000 flee Myanmar, Bangladesh: UN

2013-01-04 18:06
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Yangon - About 13 000 boat people, including many stateless Rohingya Muslims, fled Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh in 2012 with hundreds dying during the perilous sea voyage, the UN said on Friday.

A wave of deadly sectarian violence in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine has triggered an exodus of refugees, mostly heading for Malaysia.

"We know of at least 485 people who've drowned or are lost at sea," said Vivian Tan, spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, adding the real death toll was probably far higher.

"These numbers are very worrying," Tan said.

"The fact that even women and children are increasingly risking this journey shows the growing sense of desperation among the Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh," she added.

More than 10 000 people have attempted the sea voyage since October 2012 - a sharp increase on last season's departures, according to the Arakan Project, which lobbies for the rights of the Rohingya, said by the UN to be one of the most persecuted minority groups on the planet.

Sole hope

October is the end of the monsoon season and traditionally marks the start of an annual wave of migration by people trying to reach Malaysia from the Bay of Bengal - often on rickety wooden boats.

Myanmar views the roughly 800 000 Rohingya in Rakhine as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship. Thousands more live in squalid refugee camps across the border in Bangladesh.

Malaysia has become the sole hope for many Rohingya refugees, after Bangladesh closed its shared border to them and Thailand as well as Singapore refused to provide asylum to members of the Muslim-minority group.

Kuala Lumpur expressed concern at the influx of refugees, saying Malaysia's patience was being tested.

"There is the humanitarian aspect," Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said on Friday, citing the recent rescue of 40 shipwrecked Rohingya who were turned away by Singapore.

"But we cannot allow Malaysia to become a destination of choice," he added, noting that the country was already sheltering around 80 000 Rohingya.

Read more on:    un  |  bangladesh  |  myanmar  |  refugees
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.