JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – A group of 105 Rohingya refugees disembarked from a boat at Asean Port of Aceh, on the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island, after the boat was towed by Indonesian Naval ship KRI Parang-647 early Friday, Dec. 31.
Upon arrival at the port, the refugees, including women and children, have been handed over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). During the ceremony, Navy Base Commander Marine Colonel Dian Suryansyah delivered his speech, explaining that the refugees arrived safely. The boat was allowed to berth in the Indonesian territory due to its damaged engine.
“The Rohingya refugees boat has berthed in the port where it remains tied to the Pelindo Lhokseumawe tugboat and escorted by the patrol vessel Patkamla Hantu Laut,” said a statement issued by the Navy Information Service (Dispenal) on Friday.
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Moreover, the refugees will be undergoing health checks and mandatory quarantine under the supervision of UNHCR.
It was previously reported that the boat carrying at least 120 Rohingya refugees had drifted for days off Indonesian waters near Aceh province. The boat was spotted in its location about 53 nautical miles off the coast of Bireuen, a district in Aceh.
“Based on the initial information, there are 120 refugees. We will re-count again later as usual,” said UNHCR protection associate Oktina as quoted by state news agency Antara on Thursday, Dec.30.
(Writer: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya | Editor: Icha Rastika)
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