Police urge refugees to leave centre voluntarily


MANUS provincial police commander Chief Inspector David Yapu has urged refuges to voluntarily leave the regional processing centre by tomorrow.
Yapu said the refugees must move otherwise they would not have a place to stay.
He made the statement after refugees refused to move last week and did not get on the buses provided to take them to the East Lorengau Transit Centre.
“The Manus Regional Processing Centre is a Defence Force Military Naval base and will be restricted and confined to defence force personnel only when the centre closes,” he said.
“The electricity and water to the centre will also be disconnected. The refugees must leave now. It is a matter of common sense.”
Yapu said there were 718 refugees at the Lombrum Facility comprising 551 refugees and 167 non-refugees.
“These refugees must be relocated to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit centre and the new camp at Ward 1 before October 31,” he said.
Yapu said they were working towards the decommissioning of the centre.
“My officers are working with the PNG Immigration Citizenship Authority Services who are the lead agency to strategise on how best we can remove and relocate these refugees without using any force or violence,” he said,
“However, we are faced with the challenge of manpower capacity as we have only 39 officers on the ground.”
The Manus Regional Processing Centre will closed tomorrow in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling on April 16 last year that the detention of the refugees was unconstitutional and illegal.

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