Rohingya refugees return Myanmar as escape boat breaks up

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 10:14, Jun 14, 2018 | Updated : 10:14, Jun 14, 2018

The Rohingyas are being taken to the makeshift camps built for repatriated refugees from Bangladesh.Scores of Rohingya refugees leaving Bangladeshi camps by boat have accidentally returned to the crisis-hit area of Myanmar they originally fled from, after their vessel broke up on the sea route south.
On Monday morning a boat carrying 104 Bangladeshis and Rohingya ran into trouble off the coast of Rakhine state, a Myanmar government spokesman told AFP, eventually breaking apart and forcing the passengers to head for shore.
The vessel was believed to be relatively close to the coast, enabling the refugees to survive.
For some it is likely to be an unexpected and unwelcome return to a state they were forced to run from, carrying accounts of atrocities by Myanmar's army and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.
"These Muslim people were going from Bangladesh to Malaysia by the boat owned by a Malaysian man," spokesman Zaw Htay told AFP on Wednesday.
"Some are Bangladesh citizens, the majority are from the camps... people from Bangladesh who fled," he said.
Around 700,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar army crackdowns since Aug 2017 for Bangladesh, where they live in cramped, flood-prone camps now being battered by the seasonal monsoon.
Myanmar denies the Rohingya citizenship and officials do not recognise the term, instead labelling them "Bengalis", shorthand for illegal infiltrators from the neighbouring country.
Passengers had paid people smugglers around $235 to ferry them to Malaysia with the promise of another $2,100 once they were able to find work in the Muslim-majority country, Zaw Htay added.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi economic migrants are believed to have died at sea in recent years trying to reach Malaysia.
The well worn trafficking route collapsed in 2015, when shallow graves were found at migrant holding camps across the Thai-Malaysian borders.
But boats still make the journey south.
After checks Myanmar will send back the Bangladeshis, Zaw Htay added, and submit the rest for repatriation process to Myanmar.