Almost 1,000 Rohingya refugees reach Indonesia's Aceh by boat in 6 days

(MENAFN) Over the past six days, nearly 1,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have arrived in Indonesia's northernmost province of Aceh by boat, as confirmed by officials on Monday.

Among them are five groups that include women and children, who spent days afloat. One batch, consisting of over 240 individuals, faced two rejections for landing from residents in Aceh Utara district, raising concerns among human rights organizations. Eventually, the group was able to disembark in Bireuen district on Sunday morning.

“We thank the authorities and local communities who have received and granted landing permits for them and in the future we hope that this spirit of solidarity and humanity will continue to be extended to refugees who need assistance and protection,” the the UN High Commissioner for Refugees stated in a press release.

The refugees arriving in Aceh have experienced a challenging sea journey, with many departing from refugee camps in Bangladesh. These camps housed over 700,000 individuals who had fled Myanmar following a crackdown by the country's army in August 2017.

Myanmar security forces faced accusations of mass rape, killings, and the widespread burning of Rohingya homes during this period. While most of the refugees initially aimed to reach Malaysia, a significant number have ended up in Indonesia during their journey.

“The thwarted landing of hundreds of Rohingya refugees is a big step back for Indonesia, where communities have previously shown generosity and humanity toward those seeking safety after perilous boat journeys,” declared Usman Hamid, chief executive officer for Amnesty International Indonesia.


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