A Vietnam-based oil service vessel successfully rescued 154 individuals from a sinking boat in the waters of the Andaman Sea and has reportedly transferred them to the Myanmar navy. The state media reported a group confirmed as minority Rohingya Muslims by activists.
The vessel, Hai Duong 29, was sailing to Myanmar from Singapore when it spotted the ship in distress 285 miles south of the coast of Myanmar on Wednesday, VTCNews mentioned in a report aired on Thursday.
The Rohingya are reportedly a minority that has, for many years, been persecuted in Myanmar. Many still risk their lives attempting to reach Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia using some rickety boats.
Their exodus from Myanmar and the squalor of refugee camps in Bangladesh has risen following a deadly crackdown in 2017 by the military, which is currently in charge in Myanmar following a 2021 coup.
On Thursday, they got handed over to Myanmar’s navy, the report said. It was not immediately evident what would be happening to them, and a spokesperson associated with Myanmar’s junta could also not immediately be reached by Reuters.
The foreign ministry of Vietnam and the owner of Hai Duong Petroleum and Marine Corp did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) mentioned last week that there had been a dramatic rise in the number of individuals attempting to cross the Andaman Sea between Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2022.
About 1,900 individuals have crossed in 2022, six times over the number in 2020, with about 119 deaths among those striving to flee.
Reference: ThePrint, NewStraits Times
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