110 Rohingya flee Myanmar, land by boat in Indonesia

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — More than 100 Rohingya Muslims traveling in a boat for more than a month were found along the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province on Tuesday, the latest group of refugees believed to be making hazardous sea voyages from Myanmar.

Local fishermen saw the 110 Rohingya early in the morning at a beach in Meunasah Baro village. They included 65 men, 27 women and 18 children, according to Herman Saputra, the Muara Batu police chief.

Local authorities were collecting data from the refugees to determine their circumstances. They were reported to be weak and hungry and were moved to a community hall in the village for health checks until authorities decide where to accommodate them.

Muhammad Amin, one of the refugees, said that before they were stranded in Aceh waters, they were aiming for Malaysia as their final destination.

In March, 114 Rohingya refugees were also found on a beach in Bireuen district in Aceh province.

Hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched operations in response to attacks by a rebel group. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and the burning of thousands of Rohingya homes.

Groups of Rohingya have attempted to leave the camps in Bangladesh by sea to seek better life in other Muslim-majority countries in the region.

Malaysia has been a common destination for the boats even though many Rohingya refugees who land there face detention.

Although neighboring Indonesia is not a signatory to the U.N. 1951 Refugee Convention, the U.N. refugee agency said that a 2016 presidential regulation provides a legal framework governing the treatment of refugees on boats in distress near Indonesia and helps them disembark in the country.

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