A broken-down boat ferrying over 180 ethnic Rohingya men, women and children landed Monday afternoon on the shores of Indonesia’s Aceh province after weeks adrift with more than a dozen reported deaths, two rights groups that have been tracking the vessel told VOA.
It comes on the heels of a boat of 57 Rohingya men that also landed in Aceh province, on the northern tip of Sumatra in the Indonesian archipelago’s far west, on Sunday.
Relatives of those on board the boat that landed Monday afternoon say it left Bangladesh in November with 160 to 200 passengers, said Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project. More than 1 million Rohingya are living in Bangladesh refugee camps after fleeing persecution in neighboring Myanmar.
Videos of the scene shared with VOA on Monday showed the boat resting in the shallows as locals helped dozens of men, women and children out of the water. Lewa said several of the passengers’ relatives — living in Malaysia, where the passengers were likely headed — identified family members in the same videos.
The rights groups said last week that up to 20 passengers might have died during the journey up to that point. They could not immediately confirm the death toll as of Monday.
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