More than 140 Rohingya arrive in Indonesia’s North Sumatra


JAKARTA: More than 140 Rohingya have arrived in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province over the weekend, state news agency Antara reported on Monday (Jan 1), adding to a surge of arrivals of members of the Myanmar Muslim minority to Indonesia.

The group, consisting mostly of women and children, arrived by boat in North Sumatra’s Deli Serdang area late on Saturday, according to the Antara report that cited a police officer.

The arrivals came after the military said last week its navy vessel had driven away a boat carrying Rohingya in waters further north off Sumatra, as the persecuted ethnic minority faces growing hostility and rejection in Indonesia.

More than 1,500 Rohingya have landed in Indonesia since November, according to data from the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNCHR).

For years Rohingya have been leaving Myanmar, where they are generally regarded as foreign interlopers from South Asia, denied citizenship and subjected to abuse.

They depart usually for Indonesia or neighbouring Malaysia from November to April, when the seas are calmer.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, but has a history of taking in refugees if they arrive.



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