Rohingya refugees arrive in Indonesia after spending a month at sea

A second group of weakened and exhausted Rohingya Muslims landed on Monday on a seashore in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh after weeks at sea, officers mentioned.

A minimum of 185 males, ladies and kids disembarked from a rickety picket boat at nightfall on Ujung Bei seashore in Muara Tiga, a coastal village in Aceh’s Bide district, mentioned native police chief Fawzi, who goes by one title.

“They’re very weak from dehydration and exhaustion after weeks at sea,” Fawzi mentioned.

A distressing video shared broadly on social media confirmed 185 dehydrated and exhausted Rohingya, collapsing weak and emaciated, many crying for assist.

83 males, 70 ladies and 32 youngsters have been transported by army vehicles to a faculty shortly earlier than midnight Monday from a village corridor the place they’d beforehand obtained assist from residents, well being staff and others.

One refugee, who spoke some Malay and recognized himself as Roseid, instructed the Related Press that they left a camp in Bangladesh on the finish of November and drifted out to sea. He mentioned that no less than 20 of us died on the ship from excessive waves and illness, and their our bodies have been thrown into the ocean.

Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Venture, which works to assist the Rohingya in Myanmar, confirmed on Tuesday that the boat that landed on Ujung Bay seashore on Monday was from a gaggle of 190 Rohingyas the United Nations reported had been drifting in a small boat within the Andaman Sea for a month.

She instructed the Related Press through e-mail that the arrivals have been amongst 4 teams of Rohingya refugees who left Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district in late November on smaller boats to keep away from detection by the native coast guard earlier than being transferred on 4 bigger boats for their very own voyages.

One of many boats with greater than 150 folks on board was rescued by a Vietnamese oil vessel off the coast of Myanmar on December 8, however then pulled it ashore after offering them with meals and water, Liwa mentioned.

On 18 December, the second boat, which was carrying 104 folks, was rescued by the Sri Lankan Navy. Final week, Lewa mentioned, the captain of this boat despatched a message to his relative who lives in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar that the third boat may need sunk as a result of he had obtained a “mayday name” from the captain of the third boat that was about to sink, asking him to choose up the passengers on his boat. Nevertheless, he refuses as a result of his overcrowded boat already has engine hassle and he fears that shifting them will drown everybody.

The fourth boat “lastly landed within the northern a part of Aceh, Indonesia, late Monday afternoon,” Liwa mentioned, after weeks of her group interesting to South and Southeast Asian nations for assist.

The United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees on Friday urged nations to rescue the refugees, saying studies indicated they have been in dire straits with inadequate meals or water.

“Many ladies and kids, with studies that as much as 20 folks on board the unseaworthy ship died in the course of the voyage,” the company mentioned.

Additionally on Christmas Day, one other group of 58 Rohingyas – all male, together with 13 minors – arrived in Ladung village in Aceh Besar district.

Azhar al-Hasna, who heads the Aceh department of Kontra, an Indonesian human rights group, mentioned the boys within the group had UNHCR playing cards from refugee camps in Bangladesh and left looking for a greater life in Malaysia.

Citing one in every of them, Hasna mentioned 58 refugees left Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, the place greater than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in 2017 to work on plantations in Malaysia. Their boat was broken and the engine failed, leaving them drifting out to sea till they reached the shore in Aceh.

Myanmar safety forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and burning of 1000’s of Rohingya-owned properties, prompting them to flee to Bangladesh and past.

Malaysia was a standard vacation spot for lots of the refugees who arrived by boat, however have been additionally detained within the nation.

Though neighboring Indonesia will not be a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Conference, UNHCR mentioned the 2016 Presidential Regulation gives a authorized framework that regulates the remedy of refugees on boats in misery close to Indonesia and helps them disembark.


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