PORT MORESBY, 25 OCTOBER 2017 (POST COURIER) —- Refugees on Manus Island will no longer be detained come October 31, says acting Papua New Guinea Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha.

They will be free to move around and services will be made available at the new regional processing centre there.

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Their freedom of movement will be encouraged once the new amenities are completed for them.

The regional processing centre there will cease to operate and all services withdrawn on October 31.

Kantha said the issue of Manus was still very sensitive.

“Movement of refugees will be encouraged once all services are in place at the new locations near Lorengau,” he said.

“We will not use force to move residents at Manus RPC but all services will cease by 31 October so some refugees can live in East Lorengau Transit Centre where accommodation and services are available and they must move before 31 October as all contractors will leave and there will be no services.”

Kantha also said that arrangement on the Manus issue are still sensitive and that’s why information coming out of there to the public must be very carefully set out and not distorted.

Recently and as usual the Australian Prime Minister Malocm Turnbull said that the refugees in Manus will be removed lawfully by October 31 the official date for the detention to cease operation.

Turnbull said the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments will work together to settle the refugees.

A first batch of 54 refugees from Manus were notified of their acceptance to the United States in September, with 24 already in the States, however hundreds still remain in Manus.

There are still about 600 processed refugees in Manus who are now being dealt with by the PNG and Australian Governments.

Already, businesses operating at the Lombrum sector are slowly closing their operations as the East Lorengau centre already set up to accommodate the remaining refugees.pacnews [/restrict]