World Bulletin / News Desk
Dozens of refugees have left a shuttered Australian camp in Papua New Guinea but hundreds more are refusing to move, detainees said Sunday, as New Zealand's leader repeated an offer to resettle some of them.
Around 600 men refused to leave the Manus detention centre after it was closed on October 31 following a PNG Supreme Court ruling that it was unconstitutional, citing fears for their safety outside.
While some have moved to three transition centres on Manus, 423 remain holed up in the camp despite no water and electricity and limited food supplies, Kurdish-Iranian detainee and journalist Behrouz Boochani told AFP Sunday.
Boochani said the men were "struggling with starvation" and rationing the little food they were allowed to bring in to the camp.
"The people are saying that we are determined to stay and they feel if (they) leave the prison camp and go to another prison camp (they) will lose everything and their lives," he added.
Australian and PNG authorities insist all three transition centres built to house the refugees provide basic services including food and water.
But Boochani said those who moved there have complained of harsh conditions.
The refugee has also filed for leave to appeal a PNG Supreme Court ruling Tuesday against restoring basic services to the camp, with the case to be heard in court Monday.
PNG authorities have warned the refugees they had up to this weekend to go to the new locations or face being forcibly removed.
The deadline to move came as New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern repeated her offer to take 150 refugees from Manus and Nauru.
Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull snubbed Ardern's offer when she raised it in bilateral meetings in Sydney a week ago.
She told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC meetings in Vietnam Saturday she would have a "substantive" conversation with Turnbull at the upcoming East Asian Summit in the Philippines.
"I see the human face of this and I see the need and the role New Zealand needs to play. I think it's clear that we don't see what's happening there as acceptable, that's why the offer's there," she said.
"It continues to be the easiest option is to go through Australia given the screening that's already occurred of those refugees... I'm interested in the fastest route."
Canberra has struggled to transfer refugees from Manus, who are barred from resettling in Australia, to third countries including the United States.
So far, just 54 refugees have been accepted by Washington, with 24 flown to America in September.
Canberra's offshore processing policy has been criticised by the United Nations and rights groups as essentially placing refugees in indefinite detention on remote Pacific islands.
But the government says it has stopped deaths at sea after a spate of drownings.
From frustration with corruption and poverty to Moscow's showdown with the West, Russians shared their concerns as they voted in Sunday's presidential election that is set to extend President Vladimir Putin's Kremlin term to 2024.
In a new report on the progress of negotiations, the Exiting the European Union Committee said there had been "little progress made" on key issues, including how to maintain an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are in a critical condition after being exposed to a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4, leading Britain to expel 23 Kremlin diplomats.
Critics accuse Nkurunziza of trying to stay in power for life and say a personality cult has developed around the former rebel chief who has led the central African country since 2005.
UAE foreign minister arrived in Cairo Sunday for talks with Egyptian officials
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin says security and humanitarian aid operations are in progress in northwestern Syria
Egyptian-Sudanese relations have witnessed ups and downs in recent months
Erdogan says ‘terror wave against Turkey’ is nothing more than efforts of reviving Canakkale campaign century after
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War
Iraq suffers from acute financial crisis due to dropped oil prices and anti-terrorism expenses
UNICEF says 50,000 toilets are needed by refugees in Bangladesh
With the vast country stretching across 11 time zones, polls opened in the Russian far east at 2000 GMT on Saturday and will close in Kaliningrad, the country's exclave on the EU border, at 1800 GMT on Sunday.
Red Crescent president says aid agency is building on its capacity to meet today’s needs and be fit for future trends