A broken wooden ship carrying 120 refugees was towed by a Navy ship to the port of North Aceh, officials say.
A group of 120 Rohingya Muslims drifted from Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh for several days and disembarked from a boat towed into the harbor by a Navy vessel, officials said.
The refugee’s wooden boat was reportedly leaking and the engine was damaged. Efforts to rescue overwhelmingly female and child passengers began on Wednesday after the Indonesian government said they would allow them to dock because the boats were in very harsh conditions.
The broken ship was launched early Thursday by a Navy ship from about 85 kilometers from the coast of Bireuën, in the Aceh district, to the adjacent port of Klen Gukue in Lhokseumawe, a coastal town in the northern Aceh district. It was towed, said the Navy’s Western Navy on Friday, Fleet Command spokesman Lhokseumawe.
High waves and bad weather hindered rescue operations, Holib said, and naval vessels prevented boats towed at 5 knots (5.7 mph) from being detained. The boat docked safely after midnight on Friday.
Authorities used buses to move Rohingya refugees from the port to nearby warehouses, providing temporary shelter in the heavy rains of the monsoon.
All refugees will be tested for the coronavirus, Holib added.
28 days at sea
The boat was first witnessed by local fishermen about 96 kilometers off Bireuën on Sunday, according to Badrdin Yunus, leader of the local tribal fishing community.
He said the fishermen provided the passengers with food, water and clothing. Passengers said they wanted to go to Malaysia and were out in the sea for 28 days before the boat’s engine broke down.
A video obtained by the Associated Press from the Indonesian Navy showed a refugee wooden boat packed with dozens of members of the Rohingya ethnic community floating in the sea.
As the Navy’s ship approached the boat, women and children on board shouted for help, and inflatable boat police officers delivered food and other supplies to them.
The UN Refugee Department said it was ready to assist the Indonesian government and the community in preparing the Rohingya, including establishing a quarantine process in line with international public health protocols in a pandemic.
More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar, the majority of Buddhist people, to refugee camps in Bangladesh since the Myanmar military launched a clearance operation in response to a rebel attack in August 2017. ..
Myanmar’s security forces have been accused of mass rape, murder, and incinerators of thousands of homes.
Rohingya groups have left Bangladesh’s crowded camps and attempted to travel the sea on dangerous voyages to other Muslim-dominated countries in the region.
Muslim-dominated Malaysia is a common destination for boats, and traffickers promise refugees a better life there. However, many Rohingya refugees who have landed in Malaysia are facing detention.
Indonesia has not signed the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, but UNHCR has stated that the 2016 Presidential Regulations will control the treatment of refugees on boats for refugees suffering near Indonesia and allow them to disembark. He said he would provide a framework for national law to help.
These provisions have been in place for many years, with 81 Rohingya refugees rescued off the coast of East Aceh in June.
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/rohingya-muslims-reach-indonesia-port-after-month-at-sea-in-damaged-boat-53160?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Rohingya Muslims arrive at Indonesian port at sea a month later on a damaged boat