Australia and PNG urged to resolve Manus issue


THE resettling of asylum seekers on Manus has raised social and religious concerns which require political intervention, a church leader says.
Father Victor Roche, the general secretary of the PNG and Solomon Islands Catholic Bishops Conference, urged the governments of PNG and Australia to resolve the Manus issue quickly.
“The current situation in the refugee centre at Lombrum is disturbing,” Roche said.
He said the refugees had told him that there were 492 of them who did not have any food, water, electricity and medical facilities.
“They are really under the mercy of other people. So far, there are some families and voluntary groups bringing food at odd hours most probably without the knowledge of the security (guards),” he said.
Roche said the 492 did not want to move to the new facility provided because there was inadequate security.
“They are also afraid of the people of Lorengau because some are not happy about the presence of so many refugees in their communities,” he said.
“There is a social problem. They go and play soccer and go dancing and of course they become friends with the young girls. So it’s a social problem.”