Desperate migrants kill each other over scraps of food

Fighting among southeast Asian migrants due to food shortages leave 100 dead as they await an international decision ending their current deadly plight

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

More than 100 migrants rescued off the shore of Indonesia died on board the ship they were on after reportedly fighting over scraps of food on Sunday, according to the survivors who talked with The Guardian.

Seven hundred refugees were rescued by Indonesian fishermen and maritime police and accommodated in a makeshift camp in Langsa but thousands of the migrants are still at the sea.

Many of them are suffering from dehydration and malnutrition and fighting has arisen over food shortages.

"One family was beaten to death with wooden planks from the boat – a father, a mother and their son," Mohammad Amin, 35, said to the Guardian. "And then they threw the bodies into the ocean." He added.

"They hit us, with hammers, by knife, cutting," said another.

At least 2,500 migrants landed in Malaysia and Indonesia last week, although 5,000 remain stuck at sea with a lack of food and water.

It is estimated that 25,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims journeyed to other south Asian countries on the unseaworthy boats of smugglers in the first three months of this year.

According to a UN report last week, the migrants’ situation at Bay of Bengal will remain unstable unless Myanmar’s discrimination against them does not end.

1.1 million Rohingya Muslims are stateless in the Rakhine State of Myanmar and in 2012, 140,000 Rohingya fled due to clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

TRTWorld and agencies