Dozens of Rohingya refugees have been found on a beach in Indonesia after weeks at sea in a rickety boat.

At least 180 other Rohingya who left Bangladesh last month are believed to have died at sea, the UN refugee agency said.

Their deaths would make 2022 one of the deadliest years for members of the minority Muslim ethnic group, who face persecution in Myanmar and miserable conditions in Bangladeshi refugee camps.

The “unseaworthy” boat disappeared at sea and likely sank, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

“Locals have lost contact,” the agency wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “The last in contact assume they are all dead.”

The group of 58 weak and hungry men landed in Aceh province, on the northwest tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, on Christmas Day, residents told authorities.

Their boat landed on Indra Patra beach in Ladong village.

More than a million Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded camps in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, including tens of thousands who fled Myanmar after the military launched a deadly crackdown in 2017.

In Buddhist-majority Myanmar, most Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship and are considered illegal immigrants.

nearly 200 Rohingya there were already fears of death or disappearance at sea so far this year.

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Doctors check refugees after arrival
A policeman guards Rohingya refugees after they arrived at a beach in Ladong village, Aceh province, Indonesia, December 25, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto.  Antara Foto/Ampelsa/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.  COMPULSORY CREDIT.  INDONESIA OUT.  NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALE IN INDONESIA.
Image:
A policeman guards the refugees

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Call for help from Rohingya refugees stranded at sea
More than 100 refugees found on the beach after a month at sea

2013 is considered the deadliest year on record for Rohingya refugees.

That year, 900 Rohingyas died or disappeared in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Myanmar, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

In 2014, about 700 people were dead or missing.

A policeman guards Rohingya refugees after they arrived at a beach in Ladong village, Aceh province, Indonesia, December 25, 2022, in this photo taken by Antara Foto.  Antara Foto/Ampelsa/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.  COMPULSORY CREDIT.  INDONESIA OUT.  NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALE IN INDONESIA.

The number of Rohingya leaving Bangladesh by boat has quintupled in the past year, rights groups have estimated.

Last year, the military took control of Myanmar in a deadly coup that forced hundreds of thousands flee.

Myanmar’s security forces have been accused of mass rapes and murders of Rohingyas and burning down thousands of their homes.

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