Hundreds of Rohingya come ashore in Indonesia, joining about 1,000 this week
Hundreds of Rohingya come ashore in Indonesia, joining about 1,000 this week
Hundreds of Rohingya come ashore in Indonesia, joining about 1,000 this week
by DZRH News23 November 2023
Rohingya Muslim woman rests after landing on a beach in Sabang, Aceh province, Indonesia, November 22, 2023. REUTERS/Riska Munawarah

JAKARTA (Reuters) - More than 200 ethnic Rohingya came ashore in Indonesia's Aceh province late on Tuesday, taking total arrivals of members of the Myanmar Muslim minority to more than 1,000 for the week, a leader of the province's fishing community said.

During November to April, when the seas are calmer, many members of the persecuted minority leave Myanmar on rickety boats for Thailand, Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Acehnese fishing community chief Miftach Cut Adek told Reuters that the latest arrivals, 216 mostly of them women and children, "weak and lacking nutrition", had arrived near Sabang, off the northern tip of Sumatra island, late on Tuesday.

Mitra Salima Suryono, a spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency in Indonesia, said there did not appear to be any particular reason for the big number of Rohingya arriving.


"The reason why they migrated is to find a safer life," she said.

Mitra said Aceh villagers had tried to prevent hundreds of Rohingya arriving in the Bireuen area in northeast Sumatra last week although they eventually came ashore on Sunday.

For years, Rohingya have left Buddhist-majority Myanmar where they are generally regarded as foreign interlopers from South Asia, denied citizenship and subjected to abuse.

Nearly a million Rohingya live in refugee camps in the Bangladeshi border district of Cox's Bazar, most after fleeing a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.


Indonesia's Foreign Ministry has said it "has no obligation nor capacity to accommodate refugees, let alone to provide a permanent solution".

Usman Hamid, the director of rights group Amnesty International Indonesia, called for authorities to take in the Rohingya and talk with neighbours, especially Malaysia and Thailand, where Rohingya also often stop.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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