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.
Australia sends asylum-seekers who try to reach the country by boat to two Pacific camps on PNG's Manus Island or Nauru for processing.
Around 600 men refused to leave the Manus detention center 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 centers 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.
Australian and PNG authorities insist all three transition centres built to house the refugees provide basic services including food and water.
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.
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 criticized by the United Nations and rights groups as essentially placing refugees in indefinite detention on remote Pacific islands, however, statistically speaking, it has been much more effective at saving people's lives at sea, unlike the European Union's open door policy.
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