The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has cautioned the ringleaders of a demonstration at the former Manus Regional Processing Centre and said it is time to move to new accommodation.
“The Manus Centre was established for the sole reason of processing asylum claims, now all claims have been processed and the centre has closed,” PM O’Neill said.
“The centre will not be reopened and it will be returned to its former function as a Defence Force facility.
“Given the Supreme Court’s decision, the Government has no choice but to intervene for the wellbeing of both the refugees and non-refugees.
“Those involved in disruption have been identified and appropriate means will be used to apprehend individuals who are causing unnecessary anxiety and violence.
“Their actions are now heading towards a law and order situation, as well as a hygiene and sanitation problem, and it will be dealt with as such, whether they are genuine refugees or not.
“There are 610 men on Manus who have been found to be refugees and arrangements are being made to settle them in third countries.
“There are also 210 men who have been found to not be legitimate refugees.
“Now that the processing of asylum claims has been completed, the relocation exercise is taking place where there is a separation of genuine and non-genuine refugees.
“The locations to where they are being moved have much better facilities than the closed centre, with services and utilities provided for much more comfort and healthier living.
“Our Government and the people of Manus are asking all refugees and non-refugees to behave in a peaceful and orderly manner.”
PRESS RELEASE: November 3, 2017
United Nations in Papua New Guinea
The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Papua New Guinea is gravely concerned by the process by which the withdrawal of all essential services has been carried out at the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) on Manus Island as of 1 November 2017. We are aware of and support the statement dated 2 November 2017 which was released by UNHCR. The closure of RPC has resulted in more than 600 refugees, asylum seekers, and other related categories of persons, under the responsibility of the PNG and Australian Government, left without food, water, electricity and security which are essential elements of their rights to an adequate standard of living, inherent dignity and right to life. This is a very serious situation requiring urgent attention of both the Government of PNG and Government of Australia.
The UNCT reminds the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia of their obligations under International Human Rights and Refugee Laws which must be upheld in the implementation of plans to close the RPC. The UNCT is concerned about reports that the proposed new places for the relocation do not have sufficient capacity and are not adequately equipped to accommodate all the existing residents of the RPC.
While persons remain at the Centre, the discontinuation of all basic services puts this vulnerable group at serious risk of violation of their right to life. It also has serious implications on their physical and mental health.
The UNCT strongly urges the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia without delay to restore basic services to the Centre, including food, water, electricity and security, until an effective solution is found. We urge both governments to communicate clearly to the refugees and related categories of person residing at the Centre, and the public, on the roadmap for addressing the immediate and long-term concerns, including identifying practical solutions for resettlement.
For any further information, you may contact Kedar Poudyal
Phone: +675 321 2877
3rd November 2017
The acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha returned from Manus island yesterday(Wednesday,1st November) after a brief visit to the island province to see first hand the situation surrounding the movement of refugees from the regional processing centre.
The authorities have urged some 600 men at the processing centre to voluntarily move to the new location.
The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority have assured the residents full services including their safety at the new location, after some 600 men have refused to move to the new location in fear of their security and safety.
Solomon Kantha told NBC News, the new transit at Loreangau have necessary services such as water, electricity, food and medical services.
He said it is for their own security and safety to move immediately to the new locations as PNG Immigration will not be responsible for their well being at the old processing enter.
Mr Kantha said for those who wish to stay at Lombrum will subject themselves to a situation where they will not have any services.
He said buses will be made available every day to transport those that want to move to the new locations.
So far a few have expressed interest to move and PNG Immigration will make transportation available for them.
Anyone that leaves the Lombrum Naval Base will not be allowed to return.
Kantha said, PNG ICSA is monitoring the situation closely.
Meantime, Minister for Immigration and Boarder Protection Petrus Thomas is expected to give a formal update and PNG standpoint regarding the relocation of the Regional Processing Center issues at hand anytime today.
-NBC News- Rose Amos-