Sabtu, Maret 2, 2024

Hundreds of Students in Aceh Reject Rohingya Refugees – Rohingya are facing increasing rejection in Aceh Province, including from college students. Since November, there have been more than a thousand Rohingya refugees arriving in the Shari’a Province.

On Wednesday (27/12/2023), the students came with a banner saying “Reject Rohingya” in front of the regional parliament in Aceh. The rally was a joint action from several universities, including Abulyatama University, Bina Bangsa Getsempena University, and Muhammadiyah University.

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The students argue that the condition in Indonesia is already difficult without the influx of the refugees from Rohingya. In the previous years, people of Aceh were more welcoming toward Rohingya – who are also Muslims – however there have been complaints about their behaviors in the province.

Last week, local citizens of Pidie Regency in Aceh surrounded the tents of Rohingya people and demanded they have to be relocated. On the other hand, some Rohingya refugees declared hunger strike and demanded for better accomodation.

The Indonesian government has been investigating the suspected human trafficking that brought the Rohingya people from Indonesia. Police said they have detected human smuggling case, but not human trafficking. At least one Indonesian man has been arrested.

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Rohingya people were persecuted in Myanmar, a member of ASEAN country, and they were relocated to Bangladesh. ASEAN was incapable of stopping the persecution in Myanmar.

Currently, Myanmar is under the control of the military junta after the 2021 military coup. ASEAN is likewise inept in stopping the violence under the junta government until China stepped in and established a ceasefire between the junta and militants.

Minister for Defense and Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has also voiced concern about Rohingya refugees. Prabowo said it would be unfair if Indonesia had to take them all.

“So, this Rohingya issue is a global issue, right? Regarding various countries, certainly Indonesia must approach it with an integralistic attitude and approach. We coordinate with international bodies, with the United Nations, and et cetera,”said Prabowo in his visit to Banda Aceh on Tuesday.

However, Prabowo pointed out that there are many Indonesian people struggling to make ends meet.

“There are many of our citizens who still have difficult lives, so it’s not really fair if we have to accept all those refugees. That would be burdens for us, although from the humanitarian side we also need to have solidarity to help and et cetera,” the minister said.

Previously, the spokesperson of UNHCR in Asia has thanked Indonesia for accepting and saving Rohingya refugees in the past two months. However, the rejection from the locals is still strong.


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