Refugees refusing to evacuate centre


REFUGEES at Australia’s offshore regional processing centre in Manus are refusing to move to the new centre and are still living inside the refugee camp at Lombrum, Manus police commander Senior Inspector David Yapu says.
Yapu told The National yesterday that Monday was the last day for the asylum seekers to move and buses were sent for them to voluntarily get on and move to the new centre but none of them did.
“Monday was the final day for them to move out of the camp but when we came up with trucks and buses to the camp, they refused to get on.
“They have expressed concerns that they want the Australian government to address them and resettle them in Australia.
“They said their intention was to go to Australia and not Papua New Guinea and living in a prison camp like they are currently going through in Manus.
“They don’t want to pack their belongings and get on the buses and trucks so we waited all day till 5pm in the afternoon, we had to withdraw.”
Yapu said they also sent buses and trucks with police escorts to the centre yesterday but the refuges refused to move out of the camp.
“I have sent my team with the buses and trucks again today (yesterday) and it is already 5pm and I am not receiving any reports from my officers yet so that is the situation on the ground in Manus now,” Yapu said.
Food, electricity and water supply services into the refugee centre at Lombrum had shut down at the end of last month in compliance with a Supreme Court order that declared the centre unconstitutional and ordered it be closed on Oct 31, 2017.
Father Victor Roche, the general-secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands has urged the governments of Australia and PNG to resolve the Manus issue quickly.
He told a media conference on Monday that about 492 were refugees were still living at the centre with no water, food, electricity and medical facilities.
Roche said the refugees did not want to move because there was inadequate security.