Some 170 Rohingya land in Indonesia in latest boat arrival

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Jakarta (Reuters) – Some 170 ethnic Rohingya people arrived in Indonesia on Saturday, head of a provincial fishing community said, in the latest boat arrivals in recent weeks that have brought more than 1,000 from Myanmar’s Muslim minority to the country.

When seas are calmer between November and April every year, members of the persecuted minority leave on wooden boats for neighbouring Thailand and Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Miftah Cut Ade, chief of the fishing community in Aceh on Indonesia’s westernmost tip, told Reuters the latest group of Rohingya landed on Le Meulee beach on the island of Sabang before dawn on Saturday.

“They are mostly women and children and they are in a weak condition,” he said.

Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees but has a history of taking in refugees when they arrive on the country’s shores.

For years, Rohingya have left Buddhist-majority Myanmar where they are generally regarded as foreign interlopers from South Asia, denied citizenship and subjected to abuse.

Nearly a million Rohingya live in refugee camps in the Bangladeshi border district of Cox’s Bazar, most after fleeing a military-led crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.

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