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North Sumatra village rallies against newly arrived Rohingya refugees

Jakarta Post - May 24, 2024

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Residents of Kwala Langkat village in Langkat regency, North Sumatra, held a protest on Thursday demanding that 51 recently arrived Rohingya refugees leave their community.

The protests were held at around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at a multipurpose building in Kwala Langkat village where the refugees had stayed overnight after arriving at the village the day before. Officials from United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and government agencies were seen at the protest.

The residents demanded that the UNHCR escort the Rohingya refugees out of Kwala Langkat village and would not allow the UNHCR staff to leave unless the refugees also left.

Kwala Langkat village head Mahyudanil said the local residents were shocked when the refugees arrived in the village at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday by way of a coastal mangrove forest at its edge.

"The residents reject the presence of the Rohingya refugees here. We ask them to get out of our village or we will evict them," Mahyudanil said on Wednesday.

He said that according to one of the Rohingya refugees, they had spent almost a month lost at sea.

"According to our information, the Rohingya ship originated from Malaysia. They spent a month lost at sea before entering Kwala Langkat village," Mahyudanil said, adding that he did not know whether anyone had directed the refugees to the village.

Tanjung Pura Police head Adj. Comr. Andri GT Siregar said the Rohingya refugees had arrived at Kwala Langkat village on a motorized wooden ship. They had landed on a beach and from there walked to Kwala Langkat village.

He said that of the 51 Rohingya refugees, 42 were adult men, three women, four girls and two boys.

"[The authorities] are currently looking for a place to relocate the refugees so they can get out of Kwala Langkat village," Andri said, noting that the local population did not want the refugees to stay. (ami)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/05/24/north-sumatra-village-rallies-against-newly-arrived-rohingya-refugees.htm