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Malaysian Ship With Aid for Rohingya Arriving in Bangladesh

A Malaysian aid ship was heading to a Bangladeshi port Monday bringing relief goods for some of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who’ve fled Myanmar.

Shaheenul Islam, the military’s public relations spokesman, said the ship anchored near Sonadia island off the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar then had to be sent to Chittagong because the island had no unloading jetty facilities.

“There has been a change after the ship anchored near Cox’s Bazar town. Now it is heading back to Chittagong seaport where the port authorities will arrange everything,” Islam said. “This is purely an issue of how the goods would be unloaded, no other issues are involved.”

“There will be an official handing over ceremony tomorrow morning and then the goods will be sent to Teknaf,” he said.

Ali Hossain, chief government administrator in Cox’s Bazar, said they had received a list of goods to be unloaded from the ship, but the plan was changed as Malaysian authorities wanted better handling infrastructure.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are camping in Teknaf officially and in unregistered camps.

The ship is carrying around 2,300 tons of food, medicine and other supplies.

Rohingya Muslims have long faced discrimination in majority-Buddhist Myanmar.

More than 300,000 have been living in Bangladesh for decades, while about 66,000 more have crossed the border since October amid renewed persecution and targeted attacks by soldiers and majority Buddhists in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.