More than 500 Rohingya refugees land in Indonesia

More than 500 Rohingya refugees originally from Myanmar landed on the shores of Indonesia’s Aceh province on Sunday, the fourth wave of arrivals this week, a local UNHCR official said, Reuters reports.

The refugees, who arrived at various parts of the province including Bireuen, Pidie and East Aceh, have overwhelmed local facilities, Munawaratul Makhya, a UNHCR official, told Reuters.

“Since their arrival early this morning, we have coordinated with local officials in Pidie region to ensure the refugees are getting their basic needs, since they have been floating for many days on the sea,” the official said.

She said the location where they were being accommodated in Pidie was overflowing with the fresh arrivals and the UNHCR was waiting for the government to provide bigger temporary shelters to house them.

Hundreds of Muslim Rohingya have arrived in Aceh province in recent days, taking the total there to more than a thousand, continuing a migration which has for several years seen Rohingyas escaping from Myanmar to Muslim-majority Bangladesh, or by rickety wooden boats to Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Thailand.

Almost 1 million Rohingya are living in camps in Bangladesh in what U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi described as “the biggest humanitarian refugee camp in the world”.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry said the Southeast Asian country “has no obligation nor capacity to accommodate refugees, let alone to provide a permanent solution”.

Jakarta is not a signatory of the UN refugee convention.

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