Boat carrying 69 Rohingya lands in Indonesia’s Aceh

Hundreds of Rohingya have reached Aceh in recent months to flee desperate conditions in Bangladeshi refugee camps

By Reuters

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Rohingya women and children rest on the sands after they landed in Lampanah beach, Aceh province, Indonesia, on Thursday. — Reuters.
Rohingya women and children rest on the sands after they landed in Lampanah beach, Aceh province, Indonesia, on Thursday. — Reuters.

Published: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 8:00 PM

A boat carrying 69 Rohingya Muslims landed in Indonesia's Aceh province on Thursday, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said, the latest in a wave of arrivals as hundreds flee desperate conditions in Bangladeshi refugee camps.

Hundreds of Rohingya, a persecuted religious and ethnic minority in Myanmar, have reached Aceh in the past few months, even as an untold number have perished at sea from disease, hunger and fatigue.


The UNHCR has said that 2022 may have been one of the deadliest years at sea in almost a decade for the Rohingya.

Miftah Cut Ade, a senior member of the traditional fishing community in Aceh Besar, said the group had arrived from Bangladesh, many in a state of exhaustion.


A Reuters journalist saw a group of Rohingya sitting on the beach as youngsters offloaded their belongings. Some women, wearing black hijab carried children, while local people offered food and water.

Syarifuddin, 15, said he had been at sea for the past 15 days without food and had left Bangladesh for a better life.

"Also to get released from persecution that I had suffered," he added.

The boat had purposely landed in Indonesia, according to the head of the village, who said the boat had no mechanical problem.

For years many Rohingya have attempted in rickety wooden boats to reach neighbouring countries like Thailand and Bangladesh, and to Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia, especially between November and April when the seas are calm.

Nearly 1 million of them currently live in crowded conditions in Bangladesh, including many who fled a deadly crackdown in 2017 by Myanmar's military, which denies committing crimes against humanity. — Reuters


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