MOAS migrant rescue mission to shift to South-East Asia

2015-09-23 22:11
Migrants arrive on a Maltese ship at the Valletta harbour, Malta. (File, AP)

Migrants arrive on a Maltese ship at the Valletta harbour, Malta. (File, AP)

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Valletta - A private search and rescue organisation said on Wednesday it will expand migrant-saving mission from the Mediterranean Sea to South-East Asia.

The Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which has saved more than 11 500 migrants from the Mediterranean since 2014, will in coming weeks set sail to the Bay of Bengal, where large scale migrant movements are also taking place.

"Our job in the Mediterranean is not over, but we now feel it is our responsibility over the winter months to use the [rescue vessel] Phoenix in another part of the world facing an equally challenging but severely under-reported crisis," MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone said.

Once the monsoon rains subside, tens of thousands of Rohingya and others are expected to resume their dangerous sea crossings, Catrambone added.

According to UNHCR, more than 1 100 Bangladeshis and Rohingyas drowned between January 2014 and June of this year, with the number of crossings expected to rise.

MOAS Director Martin Xuereb said the organisation plans to resume its mission in the Mediterranean next year.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  bangladesh  |  malta  |  migrants

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