ASIATODAY.ID, JAKARTA – The Indonesian government is determined to hunt down the perpetrators of people smuggling and human trafficking who played a role in bringing Rohingya immigrants to Aceh.
These efforts have become Indonesia’s obligation as a state party to the UN Convention against Transnational Crime.
This was conveyed by the Spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, in a written statement, Tuesday, December 12 2023.
Iqbal emphasized that there were two criminal acts that encouraged the flow of Rohingya immigrants to Aceh, namely people smuggling and human trafficking.
“Indonesia as a party to the UN convention on transnational crime has an international obligation to prevent and participate in eradicating human trafficking and people smuggling,” said Iqbal.
“Because of this, the Indonesian government confirms its commitment to persecute the perpetrators of criminal acts, both criminal acts of human smuggling and human trafficking that occurred in the movement of Rohingya immigrants to Aceh,” said Iqbal.
Iqbal said that countries party to the UN Convention against Transnational Crime have an international obligation to prevent and prosecute perpetrators of criminal acts of people smuggling and human trafficking.
Iqbal emphasized that this obligation does not only have to be borne by transit countries such as Indonesia in the context of Rohingya immigrants.
“But this also applies to countries of origin and destination countries. “Therefore, we encourage all parties to the UN convention on cross-border crimes to take part in handling this situation,” he said.
In addition, Iqbal called on states party to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees to show more responsibility in handling the Rohingya refugee crisis.
“As a country that is not a party to the Refugee Convention, Indonesia continues to submit requests to countries party to (the Refugee Convention) to show greater responsibility in efforts to deal with Rohingya refugees,” he said.
Iqbal said that there were countries party to the 1951 Convention that rejected the arrival of Rohingya refugees.
“Some even implemented a push back policy. “That is why, Indonesia once again asks the international community and countries that are parties to the Refugee Convention to show more responsibility in handling the Rohingya issue,” he said.
He revealed that currently Indonesia continues to collaborate with international organizations, especially the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to handle the issue of Rohingya immigrants who have landed in Aceh.
“Coordination continues to be carried out, both at the UN level and in the field,” said Iqbal.
According to Iqbal, UNHCR has expressed its commitment to consider resettlement of Rohingya refugees.
Iqbal said that there was indeed talk of placing Rohingya refugees in Aceh on Galang Island.
“All options are in our discussions. But our focus is not there at the moment. “Our focus is how to resolve the situation in Aceh,” he said.
He reiterated that to deal with the Rohingya refugee crisis, what must be addressed is the root of the problem.
“And the root of the problem is the conflict in Myanmar which has not yet been resolved. “Indonesia will do all it can to help so that the conflict in Myanmar can be resolved quickly and democracy restored,” he said.
On Sunday, December 10 2023, around 400 Rohingya immigrants landed again in Aceh. They sailed using two ships and landed in two different places, namely Pidie Regency and Aceh Besar.
UNHCR said that before the arrival of the latest group of immigrants, 1,200 Rohingya had landed in Aceh since November 2023. Their arrival had already faced resistance from Aceh residents. The people there began to not want to accommodate them.
Indonesia is not a party to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees. However, Indonesia has a history of accepting refugees when they enter or arrive in Indonesian territory.
Previously, UNHCR Indonesia explained that there were already thousands of Rohingya refugees in Aceh.
“Cumulatively since November 14, the number of Rohingya arrivals has been around 1,200 people at several points in Aceh, such as Pidie, Bireuen, East Aceh and Sabang,” said UNHCR Indonesia public information officer, Mitra Salima Suryono, in a written statement, Sunday, 10 December 2023.
According to the UNHCR, the Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority group who have lived for centuries in Myanmar – a predominantly Buddhist country. (AT Network)
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