Disturbing scenes from shores of Myanmar as Rohingya struggle to escape
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 9:58PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:47AM EST
It’s a fraught journey for rescuers crossing the Bay of Bengal in a frail fishing boat, but it’s now a regular occurrence.
A television crew from Sky News captured haunting footage of a group of Bangladeshi men risking their lives to cross the Myanmar border to transport Rohingya refugees to safety.
Video of the scene is unsettling: Rohingya men, women, and children can be seen trapped on the beach, holding their hands out for help.
CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian reports that some have been stuck on Maungdaw beach in Myanmar’s Rakhine State for as long as two months, after fleeing the violence in their villages.
“Some of them [are], clearly, very sick,” a Sky News reporter said.
Soldiers have planted landmines beyond the beach, forcing the Rohingya Muslims to retreat.
A week-old baby, a crying mother, and an emaciated woman can be seen in the video, all waiting for help.
Hamamdjian reports that the refugees’ strength to stay alive is diminishing by the day.
Since late August, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh to escape what the United Nations has called a case of “textbook ethnic cleansing.” An estimated 340,000 Rohingya children are among the refugees.
Those who are still trying to escape the violence in their villages are now so desperate to flee that they’re trying to swim from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, The Canadian Press reports.
Within a week, more than three dozen young men and boys used cooking oil containers as life rafts to swim across the mouth of the Naf River to Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh.
A UNICEF report released last month suggests living conditions for the exiled Rohingya are worsening, as the majority of them are forced to live in squalid camps.
With a report from CTV News’s Daniele Hamamdjian and The Canadian Press