Rohingya refugees receive emergency treatment after Indonesian boat lands

More than 180 Rohingya immigrants landed in Pidi County, Indonesia recently

Laweeng, Indonesia:

Rohingya refugees received emergency medical treatment after a boat carrying nearly 200 people docked in Indonesia on Monday, the fourth such landing in the country in recent months, authorities said.

Every year, tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya suffer severe persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, risking their lives on long and expensive sea journeys – often on shoddy boats – to try to reach Malaysia or Indonesia.

Local police spokesman Wen Nadi said the wooden boat reached the beach in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh at around 5:30 pm (1030 GMT).

“One hundred and eighty-five Rohingya migrants landed in Pidiya (district). This number is made up of 83 adult males, 70 adult females and 32 children,” the namesake Wennadi said in a statement.

Winardy added that the refugees were temporarily housed in a local facility and health workers were treating those who became ill.

According to an AFP reporter, some looked very weak and emaciated, and were put on IV by paramedics.

Some children were “very dehydrated. Some were vomiting,” a health worker told AFP.

There are no details yet on the length and conditions of their journey, but one young arrival said they were traveling from Bangladesh.

“We came from a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh and hoped that Indonesia would give us an education,” said Umar Faruq, 14.

Shortly after the arrival of the refugees, Marfian, the head of the local fishing community who rushed to the scene, said that “some refugees went ashore in poor conditions.”

“When they’re on the shoreline, the locals help them with food,” Maffian said.

He noted that some Aceh fishermen had helped disembark Rohingya boats in recent years, but recently one boat was blown onto land by the wind as fishermen became less willing to help.

Wennadi stressed that the authorities were coordinating the refugee response “considering that their landings in Aceh have become more frequent”.

A boat carrying 57 Rohingya refugees disembarked in Aceh province on Monday after a month at sea.

In November, two boats carrying a total of 229 Rohingya people landed in the same province, according to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency.

Relatively wealthy Malaysia is a favored destination for refugees, but many land first in Muslim-majority Indonesia, which is seen as more welcoming.

UN agencies and human rights groups have called on countries in the region to provide emergency help after several boats carrying Rohingya reportedly drifted in the Indian Ocean for weeks.

Some 180 Rohingya were feared dead at sea for weeks, the UN refugee agency said at the weekend, after relatives said they had lost contact and presumed no one was alive on board.

(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)

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