Papua New Guinea’sformer Prime Minister and elder statesman Sir Michael Somare has called for the men remaining on Manus Island to be sent to Australia, as hundreds continue to hold out in the former detention centre for a second day.
Sir Michael called Australia’s treatment of refugees “ruthless” and “hypocritical”, saying the agreement was that they be resettled elsewhere and not in PNG.
The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has again called on “Australia to stop a humanitarian emergency unfolding on Manus” and details “inadequate” services on the island.
About 600 refugees andasylum seekersremain barricaded in the centre on the PNG Lombrum navy base, after Australia officially closed it on Tuesday. They have spent a second night without food, clean water and now, no electricity.
The men refuse to leave the centre for “transit” accommodation in the main town of Lorengau. They claim it is unsafe for them, they lack support services, and want to be resettled in a third country.
PNG police have said they respect their human rights and would not forcibly remove the men.
“We should have a better understanding between two prime ministers of Australia and PNG and repatriate these people,” Sir Michael told SBS News after releasing a statement earlier.
“[The] best thing is for Australia and PNG to agree to make re-agreement again for people to be shipped to