Around 200 more Rohingya arrive in Indonesia’s Aceh

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Up to 200 Rohingya landed in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Wednesday, the head of the province’s fishing community said, in the second batch of Rohingya arrivals by boat this week.

Acehnese fishing community chief Miftah Cut Ade told Reuters officials were still determining the exact number, but he estimated it was more than 100 and could be as high as 200.

Miftah shared photos of the scene showing scores of men, women and children huddled on the beach amid bags of their belongings.

The group landed just a day after 196 Rohingya arrived in the same region of Pidie, and is the largest contingent of Rohingya arrivals in Indonesia in recent months.

Many members of the ethnic Rohingya Muslims, a persecuted minority in Myanmar, have for years boarded rickety wooden boats to escape to Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as Thailand.

Hundreds of Rohingya have reached Aceh since early this year, even as an untold number have perished at sea from disease, hunger and fatigue.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that 2022 may have been one of the deadliest years at sea in almost a decade for the Rohingya.

The arrivals come as Myanmar’s generals face their biggest test since seizing power in a 2021 coup, with insurgent groups gaining ground in several parts of the country in a coordinated offensive against the junta.

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia, Writing by Kate Lamb, Editing by Alexandra Hudson)