New PNG Attorney-General roadblocks Manus detention centre closure

A protest on Manus Island in August 2017. Source: Facebook

PNG says there is no clear understanding over what will happen to the men being held in immigration detention on Manus Island once Australia closes the centre.

Papua New Guinea's new Attorney General Davis Steven has told Australia's High Commissioner the October 31 closure date for the detention centre has "not been mutually agreed", according to the ABC.

Australia has been gradually closing parts of the centre in the lead up to the October closure, but Mr Steven says Australia needs to be clearer about what will happen to the men inside.

"The PNG Government is not going to allow a situation where Australia has withdrawn and leaves behind all these international fugitives who they expect us to carry on our steam," he told the ABC.

A spokesperson for the Immigration Minister told SBS World News the department is "aware of the statement by PNG's Attorney-General".

"Australia remains committed to working with PNG toward the closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

"We look forward to further discussions with the PNG Government over coming days and weeks."

Iranian journalist and asylum seeker currently on Manus Island, Behrouz Boochani, said on Facebook: “The comment of the PNG government proves that the Australian government has no plan and has lost control of its own policy.

"The new PNG government is determined to solve this problem, but not by letting Australia settle the refugees in PNG by force,” he said.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch