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Only 99 refugee seekers remain in East Aceh camp

Newly arrived Rohingya migrants take a shower at their temporary shelter in Bayeun, Aceh province, on May 21, 2015.(AP/Binsar Bakkara)

By Liza Yosephine
The Jakarta Post
September 8, 2016

Only 99 Rohingya refugee seekers remain in East Aceh’s refugee camp out of the 409 that arrived on shore last year, an official has confirmed.

"We have received reports that the immigrants flee by deceiving the guards on ground. There are some who leave at night by crossing the river behind the refugee camp," Aceh legislative councilor Iskandar Usman Al-Farlaky said on Tuesday as quoted by

Iskandar visited the refugee camp in Bayeun, in the district of Rantau Selamat. He suspected that the refugee seekers had run away to Malaysia. He expressed his worry they may fall victim to human trafficking.

Iskandar called on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization Migration (IOM) to decide the final destination country for the Rohingya refugee seekers.

"There needs to be certainty," he said, adding that he did not meet any representatives of the UNHCR or IOM during his visit to the camp. He stressed the urgency to ensure a third country for the refugee seekers.

Indonesia has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention. But the country has voluntary resettled and repatriated boat people from Myanmar and other countries. Indonesia is considered a transit country for refugees en route to destination countries such as Australia.

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Rohingya Exodus