World Bulletin / News Desk
Indonesia has deported 25 Bangladeshis and plans to send back more migrants found adrift at sea amid a regional crisis that has seen thousands abandoned at sea by people smugglers.
An official from the immigration office in Medan, North Sumatra province’s capital, told Anadolu Agency on Friday that 25 Bangladeshis were deported Wednesday, while a second batch among the 68 migrants rescued by fishermen in May is set to be repatriated Monday.
"We hope that this repatriation can be completed as soon as possible, especially for the migrants who were stranded off Langkat [regency] some time ago," said Midran Dylan, the office’s head of immigration enforcement.
The 25 Bangladeshis, who were previously accommodated at a hotel in Medan were boarded on a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Namu International Airport.
"From Kuala Namu airport, they were transported to Kuala Lumpur, and then headed to their home country,” Dylan added.
The migrant crisis in Southeast Asia began in early May after Thai authorities launched a crackdown against people-smuggling camps, scaring traffickers into abandoning their human cargo – mostly Bangladeshis and Muslim Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar -- at sea.
Following a tri-nation conference on the crisis May 20, Indonesia and Malaysia announced they would take the Rohingya in for one year before the international community finds homes for them, while repatriating the Bangladeshis.
Hundreds of migrants who fled using wooden boats have washed ashore in – or been stranded off – Indonesia’s northern Aceh region. Based on data from the UNHCR, shelters in Aceh may be accommodating more than 1,700 migrants, including around 700 Bangladeshis.
The latest deportation comes after Indonesia’s government repatriated 77 Bangladeshis last month, according to Andi Rachmianto, the foreign ministry’s director for international security and disarmament.
"We already repatriated over 100 people from Bangladesh," Liputan6 News quoted him as saying Thursday at foreign ministry office in Jakarta.Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Temmuz 2015, 14:24