November 23, 2017 / 1:48 PM / in a year

U.N. urges Australia to protect refugees at Papua New Guinea camp

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency called for calm on Thursday after receiving reports of force being used to remove refugees and asylum-seekers from a center closed three weeks ago on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

About fifty asylum seekers departed an Australian-run detention camp in Papua New Guinea on Thursday after police moved into the complex, confiscating food, water and personal belongings from the roughly 310 who remained. [nL8N1NS6KK]

“We urge both governments to engage in constructive dialogue, to de-escalate the tensions and work on urgent lasting solutions to their plight,” the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement. It could not confirm that force had been used as it had not been granted full access to the shuttered facility.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles

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