Manus refugees: Closure of Australian-run centre to begin 'in weeks'

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Papua New Guinea immigration officials told the more than 800 men in the detention centre that demolition work would start soon on parts of the accommodation. By Oct. 31, the camp will shut down in its entirety, leaving asylum seekers few options if Australia refuses to accept them.

Australia agreed with former U.S. President Barack Obama late past year for the United States to resettle up to 1,250 asylum seekers held in much criticized processing camps on Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Asylum seekers whose applications for refugee status have been rejected also face deportation by Papua New Guinea if they refuse to accept Australia's financial package of up to $25,000 to voluntarily return to their home countries.

"You can not stay at the regional processing centre", he said.

In a recording sent to Fairfax Media, asylum seekers were told: "You need to consider your options and make a decision about your future. No one will be resettled in Australia".

He was responding to reports the centre would be closed as early as June, with detainees reportedly told they could move to a transit camp.

"Manus prison is full of tension", Boochani, wrote in his next tweet.

While the U.S. government has planned to accept as many as 1250 refugees, the "extreme vetting" measures implemented by Mr Trump mean it is unclear how many the Americans will actually accept.

"The potential here is that some detainees may die as a result of the announcement".

Australia agreed to close the Manus Island centre in August after a PNG court ruled that detaining asylum seekers and refugees there was unconstitutional. But refugee advocates have been calling for the shut down of Australia's detention centers on Manus Island and nearby Nauru for years. "Many of these people have been recognized as refugees.

The walls of the detention centre were the only thing between asylum seekers and heavy gunfire last month - now Peter Dutton wants to knock down the walls". "Closure of [the] RPC is an opportunity to get on with your life".

The agreement was the subject of a tense call between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump, who labelled the deal "dumb" but has since pledged to honour it. In return, Australia would resettle refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

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