Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

How can the crisis on Manus Island be resolved?

How can the crisis on Manus Island be resolved?

The UN refugee agency on Tuesday urged Australia to accept New Zealand's offer to resettle 150 refugees from an abandoned Australian-run detention centre in Papua New Guinea, as about 450 men remain barricaded inside without food or water.

Manus Island refugees said they were advised on Saturday by officials their eviction deadline would be extended another 24-hours, by which point they would be forcibly removed from the processing camp which had been without food, water or medical supplies for almost two weeks.

At the same time, New Zealand believes the United States will take "higher quality" refugees off Manus first, leaving New Zealand with poorer quality.

Ten days ago Australia officially withdrew support for the prison camp it has maintained on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island since 2012.

"This is a strong relationship that we have with Australia, it's an important relationship but as I say, when there is information to update you on then I will", she said.

Hundreds of migrants who attempted to reach Australia defied a Monday deadline to leave a decommissioned immigration camp on Papua New Guinea, where many hold out hope of starting new lives in the United States, police said. "I'm interested in the fastest route".

Earlier on Monday two Australian politicians spoke out against New Zealand's offer.


Government frontbencher Matt Canavan criticised the genuineness of the offer.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern listens during a press conference after their meeting in Sydney, Australia.

"I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there", she said.

Mr Trump has called it a "dumb deal" but Mr Turnbull said it is Australia's priority over New Zealand's offer.

Activists have chained themselves to the gates of the Australian high commission in Wellington to highlight the plight of refugees and asylum-seekers on Manus Island.

"The people on Manus need our help, they have committed no crime and shouldn't be locked up for exercising their right to seek asylum", said Emma Cullen, spokesperson for Peace Action Wellington.

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