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Malaysia, Indonesia Offer Shelter to 7,000 Stranded Migrants

HeadlineMay 21, 2015

Malaysia and Indonesia have offered temporary refuge to up to 7,000 migrants stranded in boats off their coasts. The Malaysian foreign minister announced the move on Wednesday.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman: “Indonesian and Malaysia agreed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those 7,000 irregular migrants still at sea. We also agreed to offer them temporary shelter, provided that the resettlement and repatriation process will be done in one year by the international community.”

The migrants are mostly Bangladeshis and persecuted Rohingya Muslims from Burma, who are not considered citizens in Burma and are effectively stateless. The cap of 7,000 means thousands more could remain stranded at sea. Thailand has said it will allow the sick to receive medical care, and won’t push any boats back out to sea. Australia, meanwhile, has refused taking any in.

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