Indonesian Navy Pulls Rohingya Refugees' Boat to Port

Arfi Bambani
Rohingya refugees in Aceh water
Rohingya refugees in Aceh water - The Indonesian Navy, through Warship Parang-647, pulled the boat carrying more than 100 Rohingya refugees from the point found at Bireuen, Aceh waters, to the Kruengkeukuh Port, Lhokseumawe City, Thursday, December 30, 2021.

The Navy chose this port considering the need for anchoring facilities, sterilization of locations for health checks, and procedure enforcement so that there are no crowds that can interfere with the health inspection process. It is also closer to the quarantine area.

Chief of Staff of the Navy (Kasal) Admiral TNI Yudo Margono has ordered soldiers to pull the boat following a decision from the government based on humanitarian grounds. Head of the Naval Information Service (Kadispenal) First Admiral TNI Julius Widjojono in a press release, said the pulling had been carried out since 06.00 WIB after the sunlight and conditions are safer for the process of tying and pulling ships.

"It is estimated that it will arrive at Kruengkeukuh Port, Lhokseumawe at around 18.30 WIB," said Julius.

Government of Indonesia in the name of humanity has decided to accommodate Rohingya refugees who are currently floating on a boat in the ocean near Bireuen Regency, Aceh. "This decision was made after considering the emergency conditions experienced by the refugees on the boat," said Deputy for Coordination of Security and Public Order at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Inspector General Police Armed Wijaya in a written statement as quoted by Antara, in Jakarta, Wednesday.

Local fishermen reported the boat is dominated by women and children. "The exact number of refugees will only be known after further data collection. The refugee boat is currently about 50 nautical miles off the coast of Bireuen and will be towed ashore," Armed said.

The head of the Central Refugee Handling Task Force (PPLN), said the government immediately coordinates and handles refugees in accordance with Presidential Regulation Number 125 of 2016. Given the pandemic situation, Armed said, all refugees will undergo health screening for further data collection and health protocols for COVID-19.

"The Task Force for Handling Refugees from Overseas of Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs will coordinate with the Regional Government, military, national police, and other relevant stakeholders so that refugees can receive shelter, logistics, and access to health," he said.

Tag # rohingya # refugee # myanmar # geopolitics

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