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Executive Summary for May 11th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the arrival of two boats of Rohingya refugees in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia’s return of Yemenis and the resolution of a standoff between an NGO boat and Italian authorities on the Mediterranean Sea.

Published on May 11, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Rohingya Boats Arrive in Indonesia

Eighty-four Rohingya refugees sought refuge in Indonesia after taking boats from Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

The boats arrived in Aceh province this week as part of a burgeoning sea route out of Rakhine. Around 700,000 Rohingya fled over the border into Bangladesh following a military-led campaign of violence late last summer.

The fishermen and local residents of Aceh have historically welcomed Rohingya refugees, Voice of America reported.

The U.N. Security Council called on Myanmar to conduct transparent investigations into the violence against Rohingya after a Council delegation recently visited Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Saudi Arabia Returned 17,000 People to Yemen This Year

Saudi Arabia has returned at least 17,000 Yemenis to their war-torn country this year, according to a U.N. migration official.

“Our line is you cannot return people to a country like Yemen, particularly when you are bombing it yourself,” Mohammed Abdiker, an official from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), told Reuters.

He also noted the difficulty of helping thousands of African migrants and refugees trapped in Yemen, saying that IOM is trying to help around 250 people in a detention facility in the capital to return.

“Taking them back home isn’t the problem. The problem is getting the coalition, Saudi Arabia giving us permission for ‘deconfliction’ to have IOM buses travel from Sanaa to Hodeidah,” he said, making reference to the security guarantees needed from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Ending Standoff, Italy Allows Mediterranean Rescue Ship to Dock

An NGO rescue ship with 105 migrants on board was allowed to dock in Italy after a standoff at sea.

The migrants were rescued by a British-flagged sailboat in the Mediterranean Sea, but Italian authorities insisted that Britain approve their transfer to SOS Mediterranee’s Aquarius rescue ship, a formality it did not previously observe during Mediterranean rescues.

SOS Mediterranee’s Matthew Carter described “a growing trend of delays and confusion between the authorities and who is coordinating rescues and transfer operations.”

Meanwhile, aid workers said several migrants suffered heatstroke on the deck of the sailboat. They said some threatened to jump overboard when the Libyan coast guard approached, for fear of being returned to Libya.

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