BANDA ACEH, KOMPAS.com - At least 69 Rohingya refugees, many of them women and children, landed on Indonesia's west coast Thursday, Feb. 16 in a wooden boat, an official with the United Nations refugee agency said.
The vessel came ashore at a beach in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh, according to UNHCR official Oktina Hafanti, with one passenger saying some on board died during the voyage.
It was the sixth Rohingya boat to land in Indonesia since November.
Around a million Rohingya are estimated to be living in refugee camps in Bangladesh after they fled persecution in neighboring Myanmar in 2017.
Thousands risk their lives each year on long and expensive sea journeys – often in poor-quality boats – attempting to reach Malaysia or Indonesia.
Also read: Over 1,000 Rohingya Refugees Landed in Indonesia’s Aceh in 2020-2022: Foreign Ministry
"We currently count 69 of them, including men, women and children," Hafanti said.
The refugees were being transported to a temporary shelter nearby, the official added.
Hafanti said authorities would double-check the headcount after they arrived at the refuge.
According to a passenger who gave his name as Shorifuddin, the boat departed Bangladesh two weeks ago.