Refugees’ actions worry leader

National

By LUKE KAMA
THE declaration by the Supreme Court that the Manus refugee centre is illegal and unconstitutional which has allowed refugees to be free in the province is becoming a major concern for authorities, Manus administrator Andrew Posong says.
Posong told The National yesterday that refugees were becoming “another social issue” in Manus.
“When the Supreme Court ordered them to be free, we have seen that some of their behaviours were not acceptable,” Posong said.
“Some of them are involved with local youths brewing steam or home brew and taking part in unlawful activities.
“Some of them are seen staying and roaming till late in the night and this is unacceptable for their own safety as well as inciting other problems.”
He said one local teenage girl became pregnant to one of the refugees and gave birth.
“That’s something we do not expect to happen,” he said.
“Teenage pregnancy is unacceptable and at the same time, they are refugees. Who will be responsible for the child when he grows up?
“That’s a problem we do not want and if that continues, it’s better that they are processed quickly and resettled in other parts of the country if they are seen genuine.
“If they are not genuine refugees, they can go to where they had intended to go.”
Posong said it was better if they were kept behind the fence “because their behaviour has now become another concern in the province”.
“We appreciate the development and changes the processing centre had brought in. But when the refugees are allowed to roam freely, they are becoming another social issue. That’s the thing we do not want,” he said.
“Their involvement with the local boys might turn violent.
“They might even be attacked like what had happened some weeks ago when two refugees were attacked in Lorengau.
“That doesn’t paint a good picture for the people of Manus.”

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