U.S. deal a lie, choose NZ - Manus refugee

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The detainees in the Manus Island Centre have defied attempts by the governments of both Australia and PNG to close the camp, saying they fear violent reprisals from the local community if they are moved to other "transit centres".

Under that deal, up to 1,250 asylum seekers could be sent to the United States and Australia will in turn accept refugees from Central America. "We will not have our immigration program, our sovereignty, our borders, outsourced to people-smugglers", he said.

Her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, however said Canberra preferred to work through an existing refugee swap deal he negotiated with former U.S. President Barack Obama past year.

United Nations rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news conference in Geneva on Friday about the "unfolding humanitarian emergency" in the Manus island center, where asylum seekers have been reportedly digging wells to try to find water.

Grand Chief Somare said he had raised this issue of inhumane treatment while in parliament and was accused of being party to the Australia/PNG plan to set up the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

"And obviously the sooner the better, some of them have been there I think for four years", Colville said.

The alternative accommodation being proposed is not finished or adequate to meet their needs, including security, he said.

Ms Ardern acknowledged on Sunday that the situation was becoming acute but understood Mr Turnbull's position to first pursue the USA deal because it would help substantially more people than New Zealand's small offer could.

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Since the centre's closure last Tuesday, food, water, power and medical services were cut from the centre, where about 600 refugees are refusing to leave.

The Grand Chief said it is with sadness that he watched two countries play football with the lives of refugees on Manus Island.

"At the moment hundreds of naked men are lying around me", wrote Boochani. "They force us to starve".

Donald Trump called it a dumb deal but Malcolm Turnbull says the USA agreement to take 1250 refugees from Australia is his priority over New Zealand's offer to help 150.

"While [Australia] is not accepting refugees from Manus they have no right to reject New Zealand's offer".

'We should give consideration to what New Zealand is offering, ' he told Sky News on Sunday. "We r dying", he said on Twitter.

Mr Turnbull will meet Donald Trump on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in the Philippines later this month and is facing calls to lobby for the United States president to speed up the resettlement process.