100 Manus asylum seekers choosing to settle in Papua New Guinea


ALMOST 100 asylum seekers on Manus have chosen to resettle in Papua New Guinea, according to Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas.
He said 25 of the refugees had been accepted to live in the United States and their papers were currently being processed.
A total of 1550 asylum seekers lived at the centre when it was opened four years ago.
“The issue of the asylum seekers is not a PNG problem but we are giving them (Australia) a helping hand through the process,” Thomas said.
“In terms of support and services to non-refugees and refugees, it is basically Australia’s responsibility.”
Thomas said there had been some progress with refugees moving to the new facility at East Lorengau.
One non-refugee has already moved while some have decided to return to their countries.
“Whatever happens tomorrow (today), if they don’t want to move, I can’t pre-empt it.  We will attend to them case by case,” he said.
Thomas said the original refugee resettlement agreement would be reviewed to find a way forward after the closure today.
“PNG is requesting for a review on whether it continues the terms of the understanding on the type of support, period of support or the period in which those people will continue to remain in PNG,” he said.
“The key area to review is the resettlement of the refugees.
“Most importantly we will be working on a timeframe on when they (Australia) should resettle the refugees and non-refugees.”

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