Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) spoke of having ordered Political, Legal, and Security Coordinating Minister Mahfud MD to handle the issue related to the arrival of another wave of Rohingya refugees in the Indonesian territory.

"Yes, I have instructed the top security minister to collaborate with regional governments and the UNHCR to deal with the issue," the president remarked ahead of his departure for East Nusa Tenggara Province at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base, Jakarta, on Monday.

Earlier, on Saturday (December 2), a total of 139 Rohingya refugees were reportedly stranded at Le Meulee coastal area, Sabang City, Aceh Province.

Responding to the report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted that the refugees did not come to Indonesia with the goal of exploiting the country and its people's hospitality.

Spokesperson of UNHCR Indonesia Mitra Salima emphasized that the increasing number of murders and abduction as well as deteriorating security situation in their previous place of stay had compelled the Rohingya refugees to desperately seek a safer place to live.

Salima noted that the UNHCR has continued to remind Rohingya refugees that they are guests in Indonesia, so it is imperative for them to comply with the applicable laws and customs in the country.

Regarding the Rohingya issue, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi recently called for a political solution to the issue, which is considered an inseparable part of resolving the crisis in Myanmar.

At a meeting on the Rohingya issue on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States, Marsudi underlined that the future of Rohingya refugees remains uncertain.

At the same time, the global situation and the condition in Myanmar have made the issue more difficult to resolve.

"Resolving the Rohingya issue should be part of resolving the political crisis in Myanmar," she said.

According to the UNHCR, over 70 percent of the Rohingya refugees who landed in Indonesia over the last month are women and children.

Data from the UN refugee agency revealed that most Rohingya people fled their home land and received a status of refugee.

In detail, 960 thousand refugees have been registered in Bangladesh, 107 thousand in Malaysia, and 22 thousand in India.

2022 was one of the years with the highest number of incidents recorded involving Rohingya refugees attempting to cross the seas in Southeast Asia. A total of 348 people, including children, were reportedly dead or missing.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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