During the last week of December 2023, disturbing reports emerged from Aceh, Indonesia, that student protestors stormed a shelter that was provided to Rohingya refugees who recently arrived by boat. The student protestors “evicted” the Rohingya. The Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO) understands that the students called upon the Government of Indonesia to turn away the Rohingya refugees because it would cause “social and economic upheaval to the community.” These statements are inaccurate and unfounded and continue to appear in media outlets in various Asian countries as a result of upcoming election cycles. 

While this incident took place before the new year, the Indonesian navy intercepted another boat of refugees at sea and had them turned away from reaching Aceh. To date, there is no information regarding the whereabouts of this boat. 

ARNO warmly thanks the Government of Indonesia for their continued efforts in hosting Rohingya refugee populations which are arriving in the country. ARNO understands that despite not being a party to the UN Refugee Convention, Indonesia’s actions are based on humanitarian principles. 

ARNO further applauds the current efforts by Indonesia to arrest human traffickers and smugglers who are placing Rohingya people in danger by loading them on boats and abandoning them in the waters to be rescued. 

ARNO calls upon authorities in Bangladesh to coordinate with ASEAN member countries to stop human smuggling routes and perpetrators from destroying Rohingya lives further. 

ARNO calls upon the Office of the Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide to coordinate campaigns aimed at stopping hate speech and disinformation, consistent with the programs the Special Adviser is currently conducting.  

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Mohammad Habib Ullah
Email: arno@rohingya.org/ info@rohingya.org