UN appeals nations to assist Rohingya boat adrift with no supplies near Andaman islands

Nations around the Andaman Sea have been urged by the UN to provide assistance to 150 Rohingya refugees who have been adrift in a boat for two weeks without supplies after the engine shut down.

The people present on the board, who were contacted through satellite phone, said that various passengers which included even children have already lost their lives.

The passengers said that they have run out of food and water supplies. On Friday, the UN appealed the countries to provide assistance to the boat, but so far received no response.

The fishing boat departed last month from southern Bangladesh and has been at the sea for more than three weeks now. It is believed that the passengers on board were trying to reach the authorities in Malaysia.

The boat is an open one and has little shelter and it is reported that its engine failed a few days after it left Bangladesh. Currently, the boat has drifted many kilometres off course into India’s international waters near Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

A Rohingya activist from Bangladesh contacted someone present on the boat on Sunday. The refugee said, “We are dying here”, adding that passengers stuck on the boat have not eaten even a morsel of food for more than a week.

WATCH| Rohingya refugees triggering socio-economic crisis in Bangladesh?

The Rohingyas are Myanmar’s ethnic minority and many members escaped to Bangladesh in 2017 to save themselves from the Burmese military’s genocide.

At the end of the year, many Rohingya refugees make an attempt to run away from Bangladesh’s overcrowded refugee camps by getting on high-risk sea journeys.

(With inputs from agencies)

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