Rohingya take risky route to flee restive Myanmar state

Rohingya Muslims risking their lives through sea routes to escape persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

Rohingya take risky route to flee restive Myanmar state

Nearly 300 Rohingya Muslims, who attempted to flee Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state, were temporarily detained and returned to refugee camps this month, according to local media and local government officials.

A boat carrying 93 Rohingya Muslims, who left camps in Rakhine state’s capital Sittwe in hope of reaching Malaysia through the sea route, was seized by Myanmar authorities near Dawei, a coastal town in southern Tanintharyi region on Nov. 25, reported Radio Free Asia, a local online media.

“That is the third boat being seized in the sea by authorities,” Col. Sein Win of the Tanintharyi Regional Police Force was quoted as saying on Monday.

“Of the 93 people aboard, 33 are women and 32 are children under 15,” he said.

These people left Rakhine state on Nov. 18, and had paid human traffickers around $300 each to take them to Malaysia, according to the police officer.

A navy ship has taken them back to Rakhine, he added.

The authorities also rescued a boat with 106 Rohingya Muslims aboard near Yangon’s Kyauk Tan Township on Nov. 16, as the boat got stuck at Adaman Sea after the boat engine failed, a regional lawmaker said.

A young girl died of fever on the boat, according to local police.