Malaysia and Indonesia said on Wednesday they would offer shelter to 7,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladeshi migrants adrift at sea in rickety boats, but made clear that their assistance was temporary and they would take no more.
More than 3,000 migrants have landed so far this month in Malaysia and Indonesia. The countries, along with Thailand, have opted for a policy of pushing away many boats that approached their shores despite appeals from the United Nations to take them in.
While the latest statement signaled a shift in policy by Malaysia and Indonesia that would allow the migrants to come ashore, leaders of the Southeast Asian nations underlined that the international community also had a responsibility to help them deal with the crisis.
The migrants are men, women and children who fled persecution and poverty in Myanmar and Bangladesh or were abducted by traffickers, and now face sickness and starvation at sea.
“What we have clearly stated is that we will take in only those people in the high sea,” Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said. “But under no circumstances would we be expected to take each one of them if there is an influx of others.”
Malaysia and Indonesia said in a joint statement in Kuala Lumpur that they would offer “resettlement and repatriation,” a process that would be “done in a year by the international community.”.. see more
source: america aljazeera