Indonesia: Boat with 94 suspected Rohingya refugees floats off coast

A boat carrying some 94 suspected Rohingya refugees was floating off the coast of Aceh province on Wednesday, after being rescued by local fishermen. According to reports, the fishermen made an attempt to transport the group, mainly consisting of women and children, to Seunuddon district in North Aceh, but an engine on their vessel broke leaving them stranded in waters allegedly 6 kilometres (4 miles) off the coast. «We decided not to bring them to the land due to concerns. We will bring the logistic to the boat — food and drinks. And tomorrow we will bring the mechanic to repair the boat,» chief of water police unit Saiful Bahri said late Wednesday. According to reports, officials believe the foreign nationals are ethnic Rohingya. Investigations are underway. The Rohingya people are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who predominantly lives in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine. They are considered to be some of the most persecuted people. In July 2019, over 742,000 Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017, according to UNHCR.

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