More than 1,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Indonesia this month

Jakarta, (EFE).- A ship carrying about 200 Rohingya that made landfall in Aceh, the westernmost province of Indonesia, has brought the number of these refugees arriving to the country to more than 1,000 this month, the NGO Kontras reported Wednesday.

According to the organization, which works in Aceh to welcome and assist refugees who arrive on its beaches, 219 people arrived late Tuesday night on the island of Sabang, including 56 children.

With this case, the number of Rohingya – a Muslim minority persecuted in Myanmar – who arrived in the last week on the northern coast of Indonesia already amounts to 1,084 people, of which 465 are children.

A boat with nearly 200 people was left adrift for several hours Friday after Indonesia denied it permission to dock on the coast, a decision that sparked criticism from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Throughout the weekend, other boats, with more than 500 Rohingya, did receive authorization and disembarked in Aceh, amid a new massive arrival of boats with members of this community who risked their lives to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

Nearly 3,500 people of the Rohingya ethnic group embarked on the dangerous ocean crossings of the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal in 2022 in an attempt to flee Myanmar, where they are not recognized as citizens and whose military persecution led to a mass exodus, according to the commissioner.

The institution also said at least 348 individuals died or disappeared on these voyages last year.

The brutal operation the Myanmar army launched in August 2017 against the Rohingya population in the north of Rakhine state led to the exodus of more than 720,000 refugees to neighboring Bangladesh and brought Myanmar an accusation of genocide before the Court International Justice in The Hague. EFE

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