Armed Wijaya, head of the national task force on refugees, said on Wednesday the boat, which is now about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the coastal town of Bireun in Aceh province, would be towed to shore on humanitarian grounds. “The decision was taken after considering the emergency condition of the refugees on that boat.”
The official further said the task force will coordinate with related stakeholders to provide shelter and logistics for the refugees. “As it is now in the middle of the pandemic, all refugees will undergo medical screening.”
Local officials in Aceh said on Tuesday they would provide the roughly 120 passengers on board with food, medicine and water, but would not allow them to seek refuge in Indonesia. The authorities said they planned to push them into the neighboring country of Malaysia after fixing their boat.
Source: Press TV
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