Indonesia will only give temporary stay to Rohingya refugees, says President Jokowi

Newly-arrived Rohingya refugees wait to board trucks to transfer to a temporary shelter after villagers rejected their relocated camp, in Banda Aceh on Monday, December 11, 2023. Some of the more than 300 Rohingya refugees who arrived on the western coasts of Indonesia on December 10 were transferred to a temporary shelter during the visit of a United Nations representative. - AFP

JAKARTA (Bernama-ANTARA): Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on Monday that the government is temporarily accommodating Rohingya refugees who have entered Indonesian territory, reported ANTARA new agency.

"We will temporarily accommodate them," Jokowi stated in response to a question regarding the problem of handling Rohingya refugees in Indonesia.

He noted that the government is discussing solutions to handle this refugee problem with relevant international organisations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The discussion includes social problems that arise in communities where the refugees stay, such as in Aceh, Riau, and Medan.

"We are still in talks with international organisations, UNHCR, and others because our local people refuse their presence," Jokowi remarked.

In its statement, the UNHCR stated that in 2022, some 3,705 Rohingya refugees had fled the country by sea. This figure was the highest recorded since 2015.

The Indonesian Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs reported that as of last week, there were 1,487 ethnic minority refugees from Myanmar in the Indonesian territory.

Jokowi earlier reported an increase in the number of Rohingya refugees entering Indonesian territory and the alleged involvement of a criminal network of human trafficking in it. - Bernama-Antara

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