Rohingya: end of monsoon prompts fresh wave of boats fleeing Myanmar

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Source: The Guardian

BY , south-east Asia correspondent

A new exodus of boats carrying Rohingya fleeing from Myanmar has begun, with at least six boats carrying hundreds of refugees intercepted at sea or washing ashore over the past month.

The recent flurry of voyages making the treacherous crossing of the Andaman sea to seek refuge in Thailand and Malaysia is close to reaching levels last seen in 2015, which prompted the Thai authorities to crack down on human smuggling networks.

Voyages tend to stop completely during monsoon season, which begins in June and creates dangerous conditions, but the end of the rains in October often leads to a fresh wave of boats taking to the calmer seas. Since August 2017, over 200 lives are estimated to have been lost in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, mainly in the crossing from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

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