Jakarta Moves Hundreds of Asylum Seekers from City's Sidewalk

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Jakarta Administration has moved hundreds of asylum seekers that have gathered in Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta, today, July 11. The government utilized a Transjakarta bus to transport them to a field formerly owned by a local Military Command in Kalideres, West Jakarta.

    The mass-transfer was guarded by dozens of public order agency officers (Satpol PP) and was directly supervised by Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) Speaker Prasetio Edi Marsudi.

    He says that it had to be done as the group of people with tents at a sidewalk has “disturbed public facility.”

    “This is not our task, but we were moved by humanitarian reasons. Which is why we assisted them by moving them,” said Prasetio at the location on Thursday.

    As of Tuesday, Prasetyo said that the number of asylum seekers here had increased to 260 people and grew to 400 people as of today. Based on Tempo’s observation, the asylum seekers left the location and cleaned up their tents in an orderly fashion.

    According to Jakarta Province’s regional secretary Saefullah, the new location in Kalideres will be equipped with decent tents, public kitchen, and basic sanitary needs.

    “They will be our responsibility for the next week, but after that, the UNHCR can continue to solve their problems,” he said.

    The asylum seekers - mostly from a war-torn Middle Eastern country - initially set up camp in Kalideres but then moved to Kebon Sirih as it is closer to the UNHCR headquarters where they can express their aspirations more freely.

    M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH