PNG wants deadline on refugee resettlement

The Papua New Guinea Government wants Australia to set a deadline to get refugees from Manus Island out of the country.

PNG has formed a special team to negotiate with Australia’s Home Affairs Department to ensure all refugees from Manus Island are resettled in a third country, soon.

So far, only 84 of the roughly 600 refugees on Manus Island have been sent to the US under the resettlement deal between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former US president Barack Obama.

Immigration officials and MPs in PNG fear a large number of Manus refugees will not be included in the US deal.

PNG’s Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas said attempts to resettle the men in PNG had largely failed, and Australia needed to step in.

“We want them out of here as soon as possible because the refugees we have in Manus, they really want to get out and they want us to get them out, but Australia needs to come in and make sure they settle in a third country,” he said.