PNG ups pressure on refugees to leave Australian camp

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SYDNEY: Papua New Guinea officials deployed police vehicles and buses around a shuttered Australian refugee camp on Monday as a deadline passed for some 400 detainees to move from the controversial center. Hundreds of men have refused to leave the Manus Island camp in an increasingly tense stand-off with authorities since Australia declared the facility closed on October 31 and shut off electricity and water. Refugees said police filled in wells and drilled holes in storage tanks that they had been using to hold drinking water, as part of the effort to force them out on Monday. Inmates sent out photos showing a line of buses and police vehicles outside the camp, built on a former PNG naval base, a day after Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas gave them 24 hours to get out. More than 100 of the refugees have left for three “transition” centers on Manus since it was officially closed. The remaining men, who have been held on Manus for more than four years, insist they should be resettled in third countries and not simply transferred to another detention camp in PNG.

AFP

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