Twenty Rohingya Muslims on a boat have arrived at the northeastern shore of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island, amid a fresh wave of refugee departures from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The disaster mitigation agency in Indonesia’s East Aceh said the 20 Rohingya men had landed in the town of Kuala Idi on Tuesday and were being given food and water.
Immigration authorities told Reuters that they were heading to the region to question the group.
The chief of a fishing community in the area said the men, mostly in their 20s, were heading toward Malaysia.
It was not immediately clear if the group was coming from Myanmar or Bangladesh.
For years, the persecuted Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh have embarked on dangerous journeys aboard rickety vessels to Thailand and Malaysia, fleeing persecution. Most of the voyages have taken place in the dry months between November and March, when the sea is calm.
On November 25, Myanmar’s authorities intercepted a boat with 93 Rohingya Muslims who were fleeing apartheid conditions at internal displacement camps in Rakhine State and heading to Malaysia. The vessel was the third to be stopped in less than a month.
Myanmarese authorities intercept a boat with 93 Rohingya Muslims who were fleeing apartheid conditions at internal displacement camps in Rakhine State.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been languishing in internal displacement camps since 2012.
The Rohingya Muslims, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, are denied citizenship and are branded illegal emigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise denies them citizenship.
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August 2017, when the surviving members of the community started fleeing to Bangladesh en masse. There, they are confined to squalid, overcrowded camps and face forced return back to Myanmar.
The United Nations (UN) has concluded the atrocities in Myanmar constitute genocide.