IOM asked to shift 54 Rohingya refugees to Medan

The Lhokseumawe city government in Aceh has appealed to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to carry out an immediate transfer of 54 Rohingya refugees to Medan, North Sumatra.

“The remaining 54 Rohingya refugees are still staying at the Lhokseumawe city-based shelter,” spokesperson for the city’s Task Force for Handling Rohingya Refugees, Marzuki, said.

Transferring the refugees to the Medan city-based shelter, about 333 km from Lhokseumawe, will help them get better protection services from IOM officers, he added.

At least 36 Rohingya refugees had earlier been transferred to Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, he told ANTARA here on Tuesday.

The transfer of the remaining Rohingya refugees from Lhokseumawe city, Aceh province, had been recommended by the Indonesian Ministry for Law and Human Rights, he pointed out.

The ministry has requested the IOM-Indonesia Office to transfer all Rohingya refugees from Lhokseumawe to Medan so they can be handled easily, Marzuki said.

“Transferring them to Medan will also prevent them from escaping their shelter,” he said, adding that during their stay in the shelter, they will get cash to buy basic needs.

Medan is presently home to 1,780 Rohingya refugees, he added.

ANTARA has reported that the 54 Rohingya refugees who are still staying at Lhokseumawe city’s Meunasah Mee vocational training center are among the 99 refugees who were rescued by three Acehnese fishermen in June last year.

The fishermen rescued them on humanitarian grounds after their boat got stranded in the waters off Seunuddon, North Aceh on June 24, 2020.

The Indonesian government offered hygiene kits and logistics as well as health services to the refugees.

The EU’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spokesperson, Nabila Massrali, had lauded Indonesia’s decision to provide safe landing and humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya refugees.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)-Indonesia Office also granted refugee status to the 99 Rohingya migrants.

Refugee status was granted to the Rohingya migrants comprising 31 women, 41 girls, 16 men, and 11 boys after the UNHCR officials registered them on July 5-11, 2020.

On July 10, 2020, the Indonesian government had shifted them from the old immigration office in Lhokseumawe to the city’s Meunasah Mee vocational training center.

However, 22 of them had fled the vocational training center.

During the registration process, the UNHCR officials had found that 25 of the refugee children were traveling without their parents.

However, 13 of them were accompanied by their guardians. (INE)


Source: Antara News

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