Papua New Guinea starts dismantling Aussie camp

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/11/9 23:28:43

Papua New Guinea began dismantling a shuttered Australian-run immigration detention center on Thursday and warned it will use force if necessary to evict nearly 600 men if they refuse to leave within two days, according to a notice posted at the camp.

The asylum seekers have barricaded themselves inside the Manus island center for the past nine days, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the camp in a standoff the United Nations describes as a "looming humanitarian crisis."

The men fear violent reprisals from the Manus island community if they move from the camp to three transit centers, pending possible resettlement to the United States. The camp was closed on October 31 and water and power have been cut off.

"You may become very sick under these conditions of overflowing sewerage, heaps of rubbish, no clean running water, no electricity and no food," Papua New Guinea's Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority said in a two-page notice reviewed by Reuters.

"You are therefore instructed to vacate this compound immediately...if necessary, force may be used to relocate those who refuse to move voluntarily for your own sake."

The men inside the camp, who include asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Syria, said they will continue to defy attempts to shut the camp.


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