More Manus refugees bound for the United States

7:28 am on 27 February 2019

Twenty-two Manus Island refugees left Papua New Guinea yesterday to be resettled in the United States.

The refugee advocate Ian Rintoul said the departure brings the number of refugees from Manus to be accepted by the US to just 189.

Manus Island refugees protest at West Lorengau Haus.

Manus Island refugees protest at West Lorengau Haus. Photo: supplied

He said including about 300 refugees from Nauru, a total of about 500 from Australian offshore detention have so far been resettled in the US, under a deal struck in 2016 to take up to 1250.

Mr Rintoul said the US deal is "glacially slow" with about 1000 people still left on Manus and Nauru without a future after almost six years.

He said scores of the refugees are suffering serious mental health problems after being held in indefinite detention without trial for so long.

The opposition Labor party in Australia has committed to accepting New Zealand's offer to take 150 of the refugees each year, if it wins this year's general election.

Manus Island refugees waiting at Port Moresby airport.

An earlier group of Manus refugees accepted by the US wait at the Jackson International Airport in Port Moresby. Photo: Refugee Action Coalition

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