BANGKOK (AP) – The Latest on violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and the flood of ethnic Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh (all times local):
Police in a Bangladeshi border town say they have recovered the bodies of nine people believed to have been on a boat full of Rohingya that capsized overnight while fleeing Myanmar.
Indonesia Air Force’s soldiers load relief supplies for Rohingya refugees before its departure at Halim Perdanakusuma air base in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Four Hercules planes carrying 34 tons of aid for Rohingya refugees have departed for Bangladesh from an air force base in the Indonesian capital.(AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
Teknaf police chief Mainuddin Khan said the bodies were recovered Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. It was not immediately clear how many passengers were on the boat, or whether there might be more victims.
Khan said a total of 84 bodies had been recovered from the Naf River since violence broke out in Myanmar on Aug. 25 and drove some 370,000 Rohingya Muslims to seek safety in Bangladesh.
Local officials and aid organizations were struggling to provide food, water and medical care to all of the new arrivals.
Dubai’s ruler is sending a Boeing 747 cargo plane loaded with tents to shelter Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
The Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates said the plane is carrying over 100 metric tons (110 tons) of tents made available by the United Nations refugee agency.
The ministry said Wednesday the plane sent by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the second to leave Dubai’s International Humanitarian City in recent days. Another UNHCR shipment carried jerrycans, sleeping mats, tarps, blankets and kitchen sets.
Recent violence in Myanmar has driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to seek refuge in Bangladesh. Rohingya have faced persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar for decades.
Myanmar’s president office says a committee has been formed to implement recommendations for improving the security and livelihoods of its ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority.
The recommendations were made in a report last month by a commission led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The president’s office said in a statement Tuesday that the new 15-member Implementation Committee of Rakhine Advisory Committee would work on improving security, economic development and social affairs in Rohingya areas, as well as maintaining the sustainability of ethnic villages and removing camps for the displaced.
It said the committee would also work to speed progress on verifying the Rohingya under the country’s citizenship laws so they can be recognized as citizens.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has canceled plans to attend the U.N. General Assembly, with her country drawing international criticism for violence that has driven at least 370,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims from the country in less than three weeks.
Presidential office spokesman Zaw Htay said Wednesday that Suu Kyi will skip the assembly, which opened Tuesday, to address domestic security issues. Suu Kyi is not Myanmar’s president – her official titles are state counsellor and foreign minister – but she effectively serves as leader of the Southeast Asian nation.
Attacks by an insurgent Rohingya group on police outposts Aug. 25 have set off a wave of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, with hundreds dead and thousands of homes burned – mostly Rohingya in both cases.
Four Hercules planes carrying 34 tons of aid for Rohinyga refugees have departed for Bangladesh from an air force base in the Indonesian capital.
Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for an immediate end to violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and promised significant humanitarian aid. He and other officials including his foreign minister and military chief inspected the relief operation before its departure from Halim Air Base.
Presidential spokesman Johan Budi says the planes are carrying rice, instant meals, family kits, tents, water tanks and blankets.
He says it’s the first batch of aid from Indonesia following discussions with Myanmar and Bangladesh.
At least 370,000 Rohingya have flooded into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when Myanmar’s military responded to an insurgent attack with what it called “clearance operations” to root out the rebels. Many of the fleeing Rohingya have said Myanmar soldiers shot indiscriminately, burned their homes and warned them to leave or die. Others said they were attacked by Buddhist mobs.
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