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Shelter for Rohingya not intended to attract more refugees: Minister Retno

Retno LP Marsudi. (ANTARA/Sigid Kurniawan)

June 10, 2015

Jakarta -- Temporary shelters provided by the government for the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar is not intended to further support the arrival of more refugees to Indonesia, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi.

"What we do for the Rohingya refugees is part of our humanitarian policy, but at the same time, we do not want to send a message that Indonesia creates a pull factor in the sense that we can attract more refugees to come," Retno affirmed here on Tuesday.

She noted that the temporary shelters for the displaced Rohingya refugees must be managed well, and the governments effort to provide shelter to the refugees is considered appropriate, as it is associated with the application of humanitarian values.

"Providing shelters for refugees is an issue that must be managed wisely, and I think that the Indonesian government is now very precise. 

With regard to the aspect of humanity, we can show the world that Indonesia is concerned about humanitarian issues," the foreign affairs minister remarked.

She further explained that the provision of temporary shelters for a year to the refugees was based on a joint agreement reached during the meeting of foreign ministers from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to discuss the problem of "irregular migrants" on May 20, in Putra Jaya, Malaysia.

"Thus, it has been mentioned in a paragraph of the joint agreement that Indonesia and Malaysia were ready to provide temporary shelters on the condition that the refugees repatriation and resettlement process can be carried out internationally within a year," Retno affirmed.

Moreover, she stated that the Indonesian government, in cooperation with the government of Myanmar, has also sought to overcome the problem of prevalent refugee movements in Southeast Asia by handling the Rohingya refugee crisis.

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