29 Oct 2012

PNG vague about fate of refugees from Indonesia's Papua region

1:17 pm on 29 October 2012

Papua New Guinea's foreign and immigration minister, Rimbink Pato, says he is yet to determine whether PNG will accommodate the about 9,000 refugees from Indonesia's Papua region.

Many fled decades ago amid a crackdown on separatists.

The issue was raised by the opposition's Sam Basil as PNG is about to get some of the asylum seekers who Australia wants to process abroad.

Mr Basil has asked what the status is of the West Papuans based on the Human Rights Convention, the United Nations Refugee Commission and PNG's own laws.

Mr Basil also wanted to know if the refugees from Indonesia will be allowed to become citizens.

The minister says the matter will be looked in the overall context of PNG's policy.