Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Manus Island refugees face forcible eviction

Manus Island refugees face forcible eviction

Eyebrows are being raised as Jacinda Ardern sharpens her attack on Australia's treatment of Manus Island refugees.

Almost 600 men have barricaded themselves inside the Manus island center for more than 10 days, despite having no regular food or running water, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close the camp in what the United Nations describes as a "looming humanitarian crisis".

She wants a more substantive conversation when both leaders reach the Philippines for the East Asia Summit this week.

"It comes very close to openly criticising Australia, and maybe they deserve it, but there's an unwritten rule really that you don't criticism each other".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has blasted Australia's handling of the refugee crisis on Manus Island as unacceptable as she seeks another meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue. At the weekend she said "harm" was being done, and reiterated New Zealand's offer to take 150 of the men.

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'We made the offer because we saw a great need.

"I see the human face of this and I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play". The main camp was closed on October 31 and water and power have been cut off.

Ms Ardern says however the men ended up on Manus Island, they've now been screened and had their status as genuine refugees confirmed. Over four years later, I am filled with rage and heartbreak that the situation has deteriorated to this point under the responsibility of the Australian Government.

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.

She said Australia had done the initial screening of the refugees, and going direct to PNG would not "add any haste to the issue".

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"If these people are taken in by New Zealand it will effectively be a back door into Australia". "We will treat our residents as residents, and our citizens as citizens".

"There are no interpreters in Manus right now", he said.

It's her strongest statement to date against the unfolding situation. Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on Wednesday said "appropriate means" would be used to apprehend those responsible for "disruption". I stand by the way that we've managed the situation.

"We haven't scheduled anything, but absolutely it is my intent to talk with him before this meeting concludes". Ms Ardern said she would not change New Zealand law to prevent this from happening.

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