"This aims to avoid non-refugee people who wish to stay in Indonesia," Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy stated in Jakarta on Tuesday.
He emphasized that Indonesia is not in favor of accommodating Rohingya refugees staying in the country. If later they are accepted to stay, it will be purely on humanitarian grounds.
"Formally, our country is not willing to accommodate or accept Rohingya refugees. Moreover, if they will settle permanently," he remarked.
In addition, Effendy noted that President Joko Widodo has yet to give specific directions to handle these refugees.
"I have not received the order. I will check it later," he remarked.
The minister noted that the country was helping Rohingya refugees for the sake of humanity although Indonesia had not signed the United Nations (UN) Convention on Refugees.
"The problem with our country is that many Rohingya refugees are being taken care of by UNHCR, the UN commission for handling refugees. Indonesia did not partake in taking care of these refugees. However, for the sake of humanity, we help them," he stated.
Currently, around 1,447 Rohingya refugees have entered Indonesia. This figure will continue to increase, considering the upcoming batch of refugees. Meanwhile, neighboring countries, such as Malaysia and Australia, can no longer accept Rohingya refugees.
President Widodo has also ordered Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, to handle the problem of Rohingya refugees entering the Indonesian territory.
"I have asked Minister Mahfud to handle it together with the regions and the UNHCR," the president stated on Monday (December 4).
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Translator: Siti Nurhaliza, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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