"I have received reports about the increasing number of Rohingya refugees arriving in Indonesia, especially in Aceh province," he said at a press conference.
The head of state directed related authorities to take firm action against human traffickers. He further asked that temporary humanitarian assistance for refugees be prioritized in the interest of local communities.
He informed that the Indonesian government has scheduled discussions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to explore a solution to the refugee issue.
"The Indonesian government will continue to coordinate with international organizations to deal with this problem," he added.
Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said that the government is still looking for a solution to the issue of Rohingya refugees entering Indonesia through Aceh province.
"There are 1,478 Rohingya refugees in Aceh for now. The local people from Aceh, North Sumatra, and Riau were burdened by their arrival. They said that their condition was hard enough, (and asked) why Indonesia must receive the refugees. The government will find a way out of this problem," Mahfud said on December 5, 2023.
The minister informed that his ministry will also try to strike a balance in meeting domestic and humanitarian needs.
Mahfud also emphasized the fact that Indonesia has not signed the United Nations (UN) convention on refugees. Therefore, the country is not bound by the UNHCR and is providing assistance to Rohingya refugees purely on humanitarian grounds.
Neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Australia are no longer accepting Rohingya refugees.
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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