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PNG Government warns new security contractors on Manus

The Papua New Guinea Government has warned new security contractors on Manus to maintain the status quo and avoid stirring up issues with local contractors.

Minister for Immigration and Boarder Security Petrus Thomas said the government wanted the new contractors not to create any issues on the ground.

Thomas said some Fijians had wanted to provide security services which he strongly discouraged.

“We have local security firms that are providing the services at the facility on Manus and doing exceptionally well,” he said.

“I don’t see any reason to bring foreign security guards. Security services are reserved for nationals.

“There are no consultations with us on their (Fijians) coming. All those processes have to be followed because we have laws to assess their work visa.

“We have Australian trained security guards in that project for the last four years to meet the requirement and standard.

“Fiji and PNG are Pacific brothers and this kind of arrangement might disturb our good relationship. I believe Fiji will understand our laws.”

Acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha said the initial agreement in 2013 was for Australia to transfer asylum seekers to PNG to process them. ‘

“Processing meaning making assessments, refugee status determinations whether they quality as refugees or non-refugees,” he said.

“And then we had a new agreement with them that includes the resettlement aspects of those who are found to be refugees. To date, PNG has fulfilled those obligations under the current agreement, which was to accept the transfer of asylum seekers, process them, and give them the option of resettlement in the country.”.


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