Asylum Seekers

more embarrassment for Govt over Manoora asylum seekers
the asylum seeker stand-off in Nauru is back to square one, despite what appeared to be a deal between Australian and Nauruan authorities. Earlier tonight, officials from both countries boarded the HMAS Manoora but a little over an hour ago, they returned to shore empty-handed. The lack of progress this evening is an embarrassing set-back for the Australian Government, which had earlier said it wanted to bring a number of asylum seekers ashore tonight.
TONY JONES: Ben Wilson joins me on the line now from Nauru. Ben, I believe you’ve been hearing from the spokesperson for the Nauruan Government. What has he said?
BEN WILSON: The take from what happened tonight, off the coast, on board HMAS Manoora, is that the group of asylum seekers they planned to bring ashore tonight weren’t ready to leave the ship and, as a result, the Nauruan delegation which went out to the ship with the brief of ensuring that anyone leaving the ship was doing so voluntarily and the Australian officials came back empty-handed.
They were preparing a landing craft which has been bringing asylum seekers to shore over the past week or so – it was backed up to the loading dock on the Manoora.
There were minibuses on the dock ready to receive them.
There was the obligatory crowd of curious Nauruans looking on.
As the hours ticked by, it became clear that no-one was coming off.
It indicates that there are problems convincing this group to come ashore.
TONY JONES: Just to recap on what this deal means – the Nauruan officials I believe will ask each and every person whether they agree to come off.
The agreement was forged this afternoon in discussions with Australian officials, after the scenes of yesterday where there were scuffles, pushing, shoving and yelling as 12 asylum seekers were brought ashore.
The Nauruan Government quickly brought the whole transfer operation to a halt.
It had said …

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