The Rohingya boat people which was set course towards Malaysian water from Aceh, Indonesia will now be taken back by the country.
On Tuesday, the local officials in Aceh said, they would provide the roughly 120 passengers on board with food, medicine and water but would not allow them to seek refuge in Indonesia, despite international pleas to do so.
On Wednesday, an official at Indonesia’s chief security ministry, Armed Wijaya said, “Today, the Indonesian government decided, in the name of humanity, to give refuge to Rohingya refugees currently afloat on a boat near Biereun district, Aceh.”
He also added that “The decision was made after considering the emergency conditions the refugees are experiencing onboard the boat.”
According to Reuters, the stranded boat had been at risk of sinking within days. It says, “There were two places where the boat was leaking. There was [a] lot of water.”
Al Jazeera’s Jessica Washington, reporting from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, said the decision to allow the refugees to land was “not entirely surprising”.
She said, “In the past, Indonesia has accepted refugees that have arrived by the water near Aceh. But it is worth noting that Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees and it is not seen as a destination for permanent resettlement.”
The Rohingyas often flee from Cox’s Bazar refugee camps and Northern Rakhine stated during this time of the year and goes through immerse sufferings which includes torture by the traffickers, killing, rap and detention.