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Aid for Rohingyas to depart soon

PETALING JAYA: A "food flotilla" will depart from Malaysia for the restive Rakhine state in Myanmar next month.

The flotilla is expect ed to deliver almost 200 tonnes of rice, medical aid and other essential supplies.

It is expected to leave Port Klang on Jan 10, and was organised by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islam Organisations (Mapim), Kelab Putra 1Malaysia and a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the region.

Mapim secretary-general Zulhanis Zainol told The Star Online that there are three scenarios the flotilla could face - allowed in to hand over the aid, told to turn back in Myanmar waters or even attacked by the Myanmar security forces.

He said the main aim of the flotilla is to support the Rohingya communities in the towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

"Access to the affected areas is completely blocked. This resembles Gaza as victims are squeezed between military attacks and closure of the border to a neighbouring country," said Mr Zulhanis.

He estimated there would be 200 participants for the flotilla, including NGO members, media practitioners, a medical team, former ministers, politicians, religious leaders and volunteers.- THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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