Aceh, MINA – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that 280 Rohingya residing in Aceh had fled shelters in the last few months.
UNHCR explained that of the approximately 400 Rohingya who came to Aceh in June and September 2020, now there are only 111 people left, Anadolu Agency reported.
Although UNHCR cannot confirm the location of the Rohingya who left, most of the Rohingya refugees have previously said they have family ties in Malaysia and intend to join their families there.
“Refugees often take irregular and risky routes because there is no legal option for them to seek safety and unite with their families,” a UNHCR statement released to Anadolu Agency on Monday.
UNHCR staff and partner organizations located at the shelter in Lhokseumawe, have repeatedly counseled refugees about the risks of irregular travel, including the risks of using smuggling networks.
UNHCR hopes that countries in the Southeast Asian region will expand access channels that are lawful, including through family unification, education, and labor mobility schemes.
“This will help limit irregular criminalization in the region, prevent further human rights violations and loss of life,” said UNHCR.
Meanwhile PMI Lhokseumawe Chairman Muhammad Waly admitted that the refugees had fled to Malaysia.
“The trigger for many of them to flee to Malaysia is because someone has already arrived there and promised good things,” Waly told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Waly also considered that the lack of security was another factor that made the refugees leave the refugee camps in Aceh.
This condition, explained Waly, had occurred since the handover of the government holding camps to UNHCR.
“All the security in the camps is no longer on guard,” said Waly.
Waly said PMI and NGOs are currently still providing services to the remaining refugees
“What’s left is in good condition, in the camp there is a shelter and every day there is a doctor on duty,” said Waly.
Waly said PMI had just finished building a shelter, laterine and children’s play area.
“In the future, it is still in the process of planning the livelihood program, restoring family links, and health services,” he said. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)