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Why Indonesians now resent Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh

Ferdinand Himawan in Aceh, Indonesia
April 9, 2024

Resentment over the influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing overcrowded camps in Bangladesh is growing in Indonesia's coastal communities. DW's Ferdinand Himawan spoke with locals who have offered shelter to the migrants but feel increasingly overwhelmed.


The number of Rohingya refugees fleeing camps in Bangladesh continues to rise. Many are making the perilous journey to Indonesia, where locals are starting to reject them.

More than half of the 142 Rohingya migrants who attempted to cross the Bay of Bengal to Aceh, the westernmost island of Indonesia, in March died at sea. Fisherman Abdur Rauf helped save six refugees, but after his boat was compromised after capsizing, he said he's full of regret and won't help in the future.

"It affected me deeply," he told DW. "I am the victim here. I've lost more than four months of income."

DW's Ferdinand Himawan reports from Aceh, where resentment toward Rohingya refugees is growing.