On Thursday, a boat carrying approximately 240 people which had left from Cox Bazar in Bangladesh attempted to land in Aceh, in two different places, have been refused entry and pushed back to sea by local residents. It is reported Indonesian police and military have spoken with local residents, but the residents are refusing to assist the latest group of Rohingya who have arrived this week.
Al Jazeera reported that a video that had been sent to them by aid workers showed “hundreds of refugees…jump off the boat and swim ashore, staging a sit-in on the sand.” Further, “more footage showed emaciated people, some who could barely walk, being dragged into the sea by residents and forcibly returned to their boat. Refugees on the beach, including children, prayed and cried as they begged to be allowed to remain in Aceh.”
This is the third boat to arrive in Indonesia this week with Rohingya refugees. Indonesia believes its kindness in previously taking in refugees is being exploited by traffickers who make a profit off of vulnerable women and children.
On Tuesday (November 14th) it is reported that a boat with approximately 146 Rohingya were allowed to land in the coast of Aceh. The following day another boat carrying 194 Rohingya people arrived the next day. The Rohingya indicated that they had been out at sea for nearly a month.
The UNHCR has noted that 2022 remains one of the deadliest years, since 2014, for Rohingya attempting such sea voyages. At least 348 individuals died or went missing at sea.