Jakarta, MINA – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said the number of Rohingya refugees in Indonesia has now reached 1,478 people.
He said the government was still looking for a way to overcome the Rohingya refugee problem.
“We are looking for a solution to this. One is regarding our domestic needs, Indonesia everywhere. Second is also regarding humanity,” said Mahfud in Central Jakarta, on Tuesday as quoted from CNN Indonesia.
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Mahfud explained that Indonesia is actually not bound by the international convention on refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
According to him, Indonesia’s openness to Rohingya refugees is based on humanity.
However, he said that Indonesia’s attitude was not accompanied by the openness of several countries bound by the UNHCR agreement, such as Malaysia, Australia and Singapore. The refugees also headed to Indonesia.
“Malaysia is closing, Australia is closing, everything is closing, even Singapore doesn’t want to accept them. They run to Indonesia. What they mean is they want to transit, but after a while it becomes a refugee destination, not a transit destination,” said Mahfud.
He said that currently there are starting to be objections from local residents following the increasing number of refugees.
“The number is now 1,478 people and local people, people from Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, he has objected to more and more because we are also poor, why does this continue to be accommodated but it continues to be free?” he said.
Previously, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) instructed Mahfud MD to deal with the wave of Rohingya refugee immigrants who landed on a number of beaches in Aceh Province since mid-November 2023.
Apart from that, Jokowi has also instructed that this issue be discussed with the local regional government, as well as UNHCR. (T/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)