About 300 Rohingya refugees who have been at sea for six months were, at last, was able to land in Aceh province, the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s Sumantra island. Acehnese police said, “The local fishermen several kilometres off the coast near Lhokseumawe dappled a wooden boat full of Rohingya before anchoring at the city’s Ujung Blang Beach just after midnight on Monday (Local time)”
Local police chief Iptu Irwansya told the reporter, “There were 297 Rohingya on the boat, including 181 women and 14 children”
“The group have been detained temporarily. We hope, they can be moved to the evacuation centre today, but their health, especially related to COVID19 is our concern”, Junaidi Yahya, head of the Red Cross in Lhokseumawe said.
Dr Mohammad Habib Ullah spoke person of Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO), conveyed his gratitude to the people of Ache for their continuous rescue of the Rohingya people.
The Rohingya refugees landed in Aceh on Monday had set sail from Southern Bangladesh at the end of March or early April this year, bound for Malaysia. But both Thai and Malaysian authorities refused their (Rohingyas) entry due to fear of COVID19, according to Chris Lewa, director of Arakan Project, a non-profit group focussing on the Rohingya crisis.
Smugglers split the passengers into several boats, some of which landed in Malaysia and Indonesia in June but hundreds of passengers remained at sea, she said. additionally, she said, “The smugglers seemed to keep the Rohingya hostage without disembarking them until everyone had paid.”