Manus Island refugees face forcible eviction

Refugees at Manus Island detention centre staging a protest on November 7

Refugees at Manus Island detention centre staging a protest on November 7

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas said Sunday he expected the remaining men at the Manus Island detention centre to leave the site by tomorrow so they can access, "food, water, medical care and security".

The camp officially closed on October 31, but the detainees, who were sent to the island as part of Australia's offshore detention program, have refused to relocate to temporary accommodations.

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

"I see the human face of this and I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play".

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With Australia refusing to take any of the refugees, and a deal between the United States and Australia moving ahead slowly, Ardern reiterated an offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus and Nauru when she visited Sydney shortly after becoming Prime Minister.

The approximately 420 asylum seekers and refugees choosing to remain at the now-closed Manus Island processing centre have been without food, water or medical supplies for nearly two weeks.

"I will be raising with Prime Minister Turnbull, as I have consistently done, that we have great concerns over the situation on Manus Island but also for the refugees on Nauru".

She told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC meetings in Vietnam Saturday she would have a "substantive" conversation with Turnbull at the upcoming East Asian Summit in the Philippines.

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Police in Manus Island said 130 of the men holed up in the decommissioned Australian detention centre had left this week. "No matter what label you put on it there is absolute need and there is harm being done", she said. Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on Wednesday said "appropriate means" would be used to apprehend those responsible for "disruption".

The would leave about 470 refugees in the centre in Papua New Guinea, which has no power, food or running water.

And she has not moved to negotiate directly with PNG while Australia leaves New Zealand's offer "on the table" but does not totally reject it.

As Australia had undertaken preliminary screening of the refugees and held their files, that was likely to be the swiftest way to make an arrangement. New Zealand has the opportunity to be on the right side of history and bring the men on Manus to safety here as a matter of urgency, and to send a strong message condemning the Australian asylum seeker policy, which is the harshest in the world. I stand by the way that we've managed the situation. Ms Ardern said she would not change New Zealand law to prevent this from happening.

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