KUALA LUMPUR – A boat carrying 70 Rohingya Muslims set out for Malaysia from Myanmar this week, two sources and a rights group said, the latest to embark on a dangerous sea journey.
The vessel will be the second to arrive in Malaysia this month as the Rohingya flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state before the onset of the monsoon season in May brings storms at sea that could endanger their lives.
“The boat should arrive in Malaysian waters in the next week, assuming it doesn’t come under distress or make landfall in Thailand,” said Matthew Smith, co-founder of Fortify Rights, adding that the group had received reports of the boat’s departure on April 12.
“This is a tremendously dangerous journey,” Smith told Reuters, adding that the passengers faced deprivation of food, water, and physical space as well as the risk of capsizing.
The boat left Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, in the early hours of Thursday, after being initially stopped by authorities, said two sources with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the topic is a sensitive one.
Click to read more: REUTERS