LHOKSEUMAWE: Approximately 1,000 Rohingya refugees including women and children from Myanmar have arrived in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh by boats in the last six days, Western media reported on Monday.
Reports quoting officials said the refugees came into five groups. One batch of more than 240 people was denied landing by residents in Aceh Utara district twice raising concerns from human rights organizations. The group finally arrived in Bireuen district on Sunday morning.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees in a statement praised the authorities and local communities for granting landing permits to the Rohingya refugees hoping that the spirit of solidarity and humanity will continue to be extended to other refugees also.
Most of the refugees came from camps in Bangladesh, where more than 700,000 had fled after a crackdown by Myanmar’s army in August 2017. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rape, killings and the burning of thousands of Rohingya houses.
According to reports most of the refugees have attempted to reach Malaysia, but many have reached Indonesia.
Executive director for Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid said the arrival of hundreds of Rohingya refugees is a big step for Indonesia, where local communities have shown generosity and humanity.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and is not obliged to accommodate refugees.
It said the accommodation has been provided only for humanitarian reasons.