Evacuation of Indonesian citizens from Marawi not yet possible

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – An evacuation process for 10 Indonesian nationals residing in Marawi city, Philippines, where gunfire between an armed group and the Philippine military occurred, was not yet possible as military operation still continued in the city.

“It is not possible to evacuate 10 Indonesians from Marawi city because a military operation is still happening there, and so it is difficult for us to take them out,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said here on Monday.

He explained there are currently 10 Indonesian citizens of Tabligh Islamic community from the cities of Bandung and Jakarta who are conducting “Khurooj,” an activity of leaving home for worship and preaching in the mosque for 40 days.

“Another Indonesian citizen married a local person and has lived in Marawi for a long time. The Indonesian citizen has been in contact with the Consulate General of Indonesia in Davao,” he stated.

He explained that the Consulate General of Indonesia in Davao has prepared an evacuation plan if possible.

However, he remarked that the evacuation plan was not possible because the Philippines government still applies a situation of military emergency in Marawi city, and Philippine soldiers are still carrying out military operations in the city.

“Hence, it is difficult for us to enter to bring Indonesian citizens out of Marawi city,” Nasir stated.

However, he ensured that all 10 Indonesian citizens in Marawi city were in good condition and in a safe location.

“Currently, the Indonesian citizens are in a safe area, and they would remain there for a while,” he noted.

The Indonesian National Police continues to coordinate with the local police in the Philippines to help monitor and ensure the safety of the Indonesian citizens in Marawi city.

The Consulate General of Indonesia in Davao also continues to establish communication with the Police of Lanao del Sur province in Marawi to provide protection for Indonesian citizens.

Nasir added that so far there has been no information on the association of the 10 Indonesian citizens with Maute group or ISIS or other terrorist groups related to armed conflict in Marawi on May 23 and May 24.

“They (Indonesian citizens in Marawi city) have the complete documents, including passports, and have received a permission from the local government to conduct their activities (Khurooj),” he revealed.

Source: Antara News