Number of Rohingya refugees surges in Indonesia as World Refugee Day is marked

Thursday is the United Nations' World Refugee Day.

Indonesia has seen a surge in the number of Rohingya refugees smuggled onto its shores in recent months.

The UN is calling on the international community to provide more support for the Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingya are an ethnic minority group. They are persecuted in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Many Rohingya reside in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh. The situation in the camps is becoming increasingly insecure, but the Rohingya cannot return to Myanmar, as the military and armed ethnic groups there are fighting.

Against this backdrop, the trapped Rohingya refugees have been boarding smugglers' boats to flee to Indonesia.

The UN refugee agency says 2,026 refugees reached Indonesia by boat during a six-month period that ended in May.

About 250 Rohingya refugees have been staying at a refugee camp in Indonesia's western Aceh Province.

A 24-year-old man noted that he just wants to stay in a peaceful place with his family.

Ann Maymann is a representative of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Indonesia. She told NHK that there is an ongoing conflict in the country. She noted that it has expanded and is reaching more and more areas. Maymann said the humanitarian situation in the refugee camps in Bangladesh is also deteriorating.

She said the UNHCR is always looking for support, because its needs are big.