No UNHCR, IOM role in Rohingya refugee handling regrettable: indonesia

No UNHCR, IOM role in Rohingya refugee handling regrettable: indonesia

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – It is regrettable that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are not playing a role in handling Rohingya refugees in Indonesia.

Acting director general of immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Widodo Ekatjahjana, made the remarks in response to the rejection of Rohingya refugees by the community in Lhokseumawe, North Aceh, Aceh Province.

“As a result, this has created social problems in Indonesia,” Ekatjahjana said in a statement received in Jakarta on Friday.

“UNHCR and IOM must take a role in handling refugees coming from abroad. Do not run away from responsibility and only provide refugee certificates,” he added.

As a result of the issuance of certificates, he said, the refugees can stay in Indonesia as they please. This has the potential to become a social problem in Indonesia, he stressed.

Widodo explained that as per Presidential Regulation Number 125 of 2016 concerning the handling of foreign refugees, immigration, through Immigration Detention Centers, has an important role collecting data by checking travel documents, immigration status, and identity.

Furthermore, the Immigration Detention Center officers coordinate with the United Nations (UN) through the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Indonesia.

For sheltering refugees from abroad, the immigration coordinates with the local district/city government to bring or place refugees from where they are found to the shelter location.

“Providing the basic rights of refugees in shelters such as clean water, food, drink, clothing, health services, and worship facilities is the responsibility of UNHCR and IOM as a whole,” he said.

On November 24, head of the Class II Lhokseumawe Immigration Office reported that residents had refused to accept the arrival of Rohingya refugees who tried to break through the gate by breaking the lock and enter the former Lhokseumawe Immigration Office in Puenteut without approval.

So far, there has been no further information regarding the placement of the Rohingya ethnic group.

People in Puentuet are still standing guard in front of the former Immigration Office building to anticipate the return of the Rohingya group. 

Related news: Indonesia highlights Rohingya issue at MIKTA meeting

Related news: Aceh: 119 Rohingya refugees relocated to Pekanbaru



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