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Fijians to leave for PNG

Aqela Susu
Monday, October 30, 2017

FORTY-TWO Fijian security workers will leave the country this week to work as security officers at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

The former police and military officers and civilians were going across under a one-year contract through a recruitment by the Paladin Solutions firm.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate farewelled the group at the United Club in Suva on Friday.

"It's an opportunity for our workers to go and work in Papua New Guinea and what we have been able to do is to work with the company that is recruiting to make sure that they meet the requirements that we have within the ministry," he said.

Mr Usamate said the ministry was always looking for opportunities for Fijians to be employed either locally or overseas. "Our officers have looked into their contracts to make sure that the workers are protected when they go there," he said.

"We understand the situation, that where they are going to work is not an easy situation but I think the people who have been selected have the experience so they should be able to cope with that particular situation."

Manus Island has been home to asylum seekers relocated from Australia to PNG between 2001 and 2004 and since 2012.

The detention centre was expected to be closed tomorrow and according to overseas media reports, 700 men were refusing to leave the detention centre, with extra police officers and notorious mobile squad expected to be deployed there.

"The camps at Manus Island will be closed from October 31 so it's going to be a delicate situation which requires fitness and skills and I know that our people who are going have those qualities," Mr Usamate said.

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