Jakarta – About one hundred Rohingya landed in Indonesia's Aceh province on Tuesday, the chief of a local fishing community said, the latest batch of people to have fled Myanmar by boat this year.
Many Rohingya have for years attempted in rickety wooden boats to reach neighbouring Thailand and Bangladesh, and Muslim-majority Malaysia and Indonesia, especially between November and April when the seas are calm. An untold number of them have died at sea from disease, hunger and fatigue.
Hundreds of Rohingya arrived earlier this year. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has said 2022 may have been one of the deadliest years at sea in almost a decade for the Rohingya, a persecuted religious and ethnic minority in Myanmar.
Miftah Cut Ade, chief of the local fishing community in Aceh, told Reuters one hundred Rohingya arrived on one boat in Aceh's Pidie region, many of whom are children and women, adding they were "weak and in need of nutrition."
A UNHCR spokesperson said its team was on the way to the area, but gave no further details.
Effendi, a local police chief, said authorities were still counting the number of Rohingya who arrived on Tuesday. He did not provide details where they had travelled from.
Nearly 1 million Rohingya live in crowded conditions in Bangladesh, among them those who fled a deadly crackdown in 2017 by Myanmar's military, which denies committing crimes against humanity.
[Reporting by Ananda Teresia and Stanley Widianto; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan.]