Six more bodies are found days after a boat of Rohingya refugees capsized off Indonesia

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Six more bodies of Rohingya refugees have been found at sea off Indonesia after a boat with more than 150 people aboard capsized last week, local authorities said Monday.

The bodies of the six women were found off the coast of Aceh province, search and rescue officials said in a statement. Five bodies were found over the weekend.

The United Nations refugee agency confirmed with survivors that the women had been on their boat, staff member Faisal Rahman said.

The agency has said the boat carrying Rohingya Muslims left a refugee camp in Bangladesh but capsized on Wednesday. Fishermen and search and rescue workers rescued 75 people on Thursday after they huddled overnight on the boat's overturned hull.

U.N. agencies on Friday said at least 70 were feared missing or dead.

About 1 million of the predominately Muslim Rohingya live in Bangladesh as refugees from Myanmar. They include about 740,000 who fled a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in 2017 by Myanmar’s security forces, who were accused of committing mass rapes and killings.

The Rohingya minority in Myanmar faces widespread discrimination. Most are denied citizenship.

Indonesia, like Thailand and Malaysia, is not a signatory to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention and is not obligated to accept them. However, the country generally provides temporary shelter to refugees in distress.


Tarigan reported from Jakarta.