West Jakarta accommodates 1,100 refugees

West Jakarta accommodates 1,100 refugees

Foreign refugees queued to avail free medical services in West Jakarta. (12/7/2019) (ANTARA/Sugiharto Purnama)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - An official confirmed that some 1,100 foreign refugees were currently being accommodated in West Jakarta.

"It has been cross-verified by the UNHCR. The figure reaches 998, but it has increased to 1,100 people," Irmansyah, head of the Jakarta Social Office, remarked here on Friday.

Moreover, 250 refugees are taking shelter in the Kebon Sirih area, Central Jakarta, he noted.

Most of the refugees are from Somalia, Sudan, and Afghanistan. The Jakarta Social Affairs Office has temporarily provided food to them.

"We give them food for the first seven days, and then we await the results of discussion. The Jakarta administration has sent letters to the Central Government and UNHCR in connection with a solution (to the refugee problem)," he stated.

In the meantime, refugees and asylum seekers thronged a street in front of Ravindo Building at Jalan Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta, on Thursday, demanding that the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugee (UNHCR) representative meet them, ANTARA reported.

Dozens of refugees, of both genders and different age groups, crammed the street brandishing placards that bore the words "I am a refugee, I am a human too."

Eventually, some officers of the UNHCR, accompanied by an interpreter, turned up and requested them to select a representative for communication and correspondence while calling on the rest to vacate the building premises at the earliest.

However, the refugees declined to send a representative and instead insisted that the officers come and meet them, as they were keen to demand their rights as refugees, who had been living in Indonesia for years.  

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