PIDI, Indonesia (Reuters) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked countries to help the Rohingya Muslim minority who are adrift at sea. At least 20 Rohingya are believed to have died at sea. He also called for help for the hundreds of Rohingya who have landed in Indonesia after weeks adrift in the Indian Ocean.
Nearly 500 Rohingya have arrived in Indonesia in the past six weeks, but many countries have not responded to calls for help, UNHCR said in a statement.
A boat carrying 174 Rohingya arrived ashore on Saturday, according to authorities in the Indonesian province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra. Most were dehydrated and exhausted after weeks of drifting and needed urgent medical attention.
Survivors say the 40-day drift from Bangladesh to Indonesia killed more than 20 people and left the ship low on food and leaking water.
“Indonesians came here from Bangladesh’s largest refugee camp with the hope of giving us an opportunity to get an education,” said one survivor.