Indonesia to deport Bangladeshi migrants stranded in Aceh (dpa German Press Agency)

Jakarta (dpa) – Indonesia will deport migrants from Bangladesh who arrived on the shores of Aceh province along with the persecuted Rohingya people from Myanmar since May 10, an official said Sunday.

“We are currently assessing the migrants to collect their valid data, but our general policy is that we will deport those who are from Bangladesh, while we will allow the Rohingya to temporarily stay longer,” Tri Budiarto, a deputy for emergency response at the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), said.

Budiarto said migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya are placed in different shelters in six locations in Aceh, notably in North Aceh and East Aceh districts, where they were rescued by fishermen or washed ashore.

Data from the Indonesian government shows that there are 1,759 migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar, comprised of 1,062 Rohingya and 720 Bangladeshi. They were washed ashore and rescued in Aceh waters on May 10, 15, 16 and 20.

“The ones from Bangladesh are all male, while the Rohingya migrants included 235 women and 225 children,” Budiarto said, adding that the Bangladeshi ambassador to Indonesia, Maznul Quanine, had visited Aceh and had begun planning to repatriate his countrymen, who are economic migrants and victims of human trafficking.

The repatriation of the Bangladeshi migrants is expected to be completed within one month.

Indonesian Navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir said the navy is continuing to scour the Indonesian waters neighbouring the Malacca Straits and the Andaman Sea searching for boats carrying thousands of migrants believed to be still at sea.

“But we didn’t find any over the past few days. This is part of our regular patrol anyway, but since the influx of migrants started earlier this month, we are concentrating on that as well,” Simorangkir said.

Indonesia and Malaysia changed their policy Wednesday from refusing to take the influx of migrants to allowing them to stay for a year while awaiting resettlement in a third country.