Almost 300 Rohingya Muslims were found on a beach in Indonesia’s Aceh province Monday and were evacuated by military, police and Red Cross volunteers, authorities said. The group arrived at Ujong Blang beach from one boat and were reported by local residents. The arriving officers found the group had dispersed into three groups after landing, Banda Sakti Subdistrict Military Commander Roni Mahendra said.
“We persuaded them and asked the local residents to help until they gathered again,” Mahendra said
The 181 women, 100 men and 14 children were given shelter and received help from locals, officers from local police and military and health providers.
“Now we are still waiting for further instruction from our supervisors,” Mahendra said.
In June, Indonesian fishermen discovered 94 hungry, weak Rohingya Muslims on a wooden boat adrift off Aceh, Indonesia’s westernmost province.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar due to a military crackdown, and many live in densely crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Rights activists fear large numbers of Rohingya have gone to sea, fleeing ongoing persecution in Myanmar and hardship in the camps in Bangladesh where traffickers may promise the refugees a better life abroad.