1,660 foreign refugees still residing in Makassar: official

1,660 foreign refugees still residing in Makassar: official

Chief of the Makassar Immigration Detention Center, Togol Situmorang. (ANTARA/HO)

Their number is quite large, reaching 1,660. Most of them have been in Indonesia, particularly Makassar, for more than five years.
Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - At least 1,660 foreign refugees are still residing in South Sulawesi capital Makassar under the supervision of the local immigration detention house.

"Their number is quite large, reaching 1,660. Most of them have been in Indonesia, particularly Makassar, for more than five years," chief of the Makassar Immigration Detention Center, Togol Situmorang, said here on Tuesday.

Through the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) facility, which allows foreign refugees to return to their countries of origin, their number will hopefully decline, he added.

Some of the refugees have filed applications to return home after the security condition in their countries of origin became conducive, he said.

They fled their countries, such as Afghanistan and Somalia, due to protracted conflicts, he informed.

"Conflict, civil war, and the like have prompted citizens to seek asylum abroad. However, the security situation in their countries, which has increasingly become conducive, has prompted them to file applications to return home," he explained.

Foreign refugees in Indonesia are under the direct supervision of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), while those in Makassar are under the surveillance of the IOM branch in the city, he said.

"The refugees are staying in 22 different refugee places or community houses spread out across Makassar city," he added.

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