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May 7, 2021

Genuine Refugees to be Resettled

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Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato today brushed aside claims that asylum seekers on the Manus Island, found to be genuine refugees, will be resettled in PNG.

He however said an eminent persons group has been set up to come up with a policy framework to determine whether or not, the asylum seekers to be settled in PNG after their requests are processed.


He was responding to questions raised by the Governor for Manus, Charlie Benjamin.


Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin was concerned about reports in the Australia media of the possibility of resettling asylum seekers in PNG after their requests are processed.


Mr Benjamin also raised concerns about PNG and Australia governments not advising them of what their benefit package would be from the establishment of this centre.


Minister Pato said the process to determine the refugee status of asylum seekers on the island has commenced and the fact that PNG has entered into such arrangements for the first time, needed a policy framework to determine whether or not genuine refugees should be resettled after the process is completed.


He further said the Australian government will provide support to the island to the tune of 400 million Australian dollars, in addition to the 500 million Australian dollars that it has already invested in the country in different projects.


Goroka MP Bire Kimisopa in a supplementary question also raised concerns of the two local MPs being left out in meetings and discussions related to the centre, which Mr Pato denied.


The Asylum Seekers deal came into effect in 2012 with the first asylum seekers arriving on our shores in November of the same year.


Into its second year running now, the people from Manus are complaining of the Australian and PNG Government not honouring most commitments that were made during the agreement signing.


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