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05 April 2018, 12:37 | Rudolph Thomas
Malaysia brings in boat carrying 56 Rohingya refugees
"The BRAC team has been working hand in hand with the Government of Bangladesh and partner organizations, first to ensure emergency relief, and now gradually to address critical services and long-term livelihood needs in the Rohingya settlements", said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC.
Almost 700,000 Muslim Rohingya fled to Bangladesh since the military launched a crackdown in Myanmar's western state in response to insurgent attacks on security forces in August, according to United Nations estimates.
The navy and coastguard had stepped up patrols around Langkawi - where Rohingya have come ashore in the past - after the boat was spotted of Thailand's west coast at the weekend and its passengers said they were trying to reach Malaysia. Transnational human trafficking syndicates working in concert with various authorities operated numerous boats.
Many of the Rohingya ensnared in the 2015 boat crisis ended up in Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia because Thailand stuck to a policy of not accepting the vessels. It had set sail from central Rakhine state in Myanmar, the United Nations refugee agency said. The boat that reached Malaysia sparked fears that refugee camps in Bangladesh are overcrowded and may force people to undertake unsafe sea voyages.
About 50 families from remote hill and forest areas on the Bangladesh side, attracted by offers of free land and food, have moved to Rakhine state in mainly Buddhist Myanmar - the scene of a brutal army crackdown which prompted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee.
Customary worldwide law as well as Article 9 of the global Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Thailand is a state party, protects the right to liberty.
A boat carrying dozens of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday and the refugees will be allowed to enter the country, but an expert played down fears of a new exodus.
During a joint meeting with the Bangladeshi foreign affairs and home ministers in Dhaka on October 1, Swe expressed his country's willingness to take back the Rohingya refugees. It had since been escorted to the peninsula and its occupants handed over to immigration authorities for processing.
Suu Kyi made only a passing reference to the crisis in Rakhine state, where her government faces mounting worldwide condemnation for a military operation against Rohingya Muslims.
He said that the Myanmar government has informed Bangladesh that their minister for social development and social welfare is coming to Bangladesh on April 11 and will also visit the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.
In his interim report presented in December, Rae drew particular attention to those accounts of women who had experienced sexual violence, as well as to the "deplorably overcrowded" refugee camps housing the Rohingya in Bangladesh. "We're happy with that and we have also requested the Russian Federation, my friend the [Russian] foreign minister so that we can work together in resolving these problems and sending these refugees back in accordance with the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Foundation report", he said.
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