Around 50 Rohingya Muslims land in Indonesia’s North Sumatra

By Thomson Reuters May 23, 2024 | 6:49 AM

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Around 50 Rohingya Muslims have arrived in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, an official at the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Thursday, the latest wave of arrivals who have drawn a sometimes hostile reception in the Southeast Asian country.

UNHCR is coordinating with its local partners and authorities to gather more details on the group – who appeared to be made up of women and children – and to organise aid, senior communications assistant Yanuar Farhanditya told Reuters,

Rohingya face persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar but refugees have experienced increasing hostility and rejection in Indonesia as locals grow frustrated at the numbers of boats arriving.

State news agency Antara quoted police as saying the latest group arrived by boat in Langkat area of North Sumatra on Wednesday and were found by the locals before being taken to a nearby clinic for health checks and given food and water.

In December, more than 140 Rohingya arrived in Deli Serdang, another area in North Sumatra. Since last year, arrivals of Rohingya in Indonesia or neighbouring Malaysia, have increased, especially from November to April when the seas are calmer.

More than 2,300 Rohingya arrived in Indonesia last year, data from UNHCR showed, more than the combined total of arrivals in the previous four years.

(Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Frances Kerry)