PNG govt to convince Manus refugees to relocate

6:45 am on 22 November 2017

The Papua New Guinea police commissioner says a joint government team will today try to convince about 400 refugees occupying the former detention centre on Manus Island to move.

The men have been refusing to relocate to other facilities on the island despite essential services being cut from the centre when it closed at the end of October

The Commissioner Gari Baki said he's adamant force would not be used and the refugees would be asked politely to pack up and voluntarily leave.

Mr Baki said the operation called Helpim Friends would comprise police, the defence force and staff from the immigration department.

He said a police Mobile Squad would also be engaged.

The Commissioner said a recent Health Authority report found the centre was unhygienic and may attract water borne diseases such as Typhoid, Dysentery and Cholera.

The refugees say after four years of detention without charge they want freedom in a safe country and not to move to other prisons on Manus.

PNG Police Commissioner, Gary Baki.

PNG Police Commissioner, Gary Baki. Photo: EMTV