Refugees fear Aussie-US resettlement plan

2017-07-17 02:06:01 GMT2017-07-17 10:06:01(Beijing Time) Agencies

The abrupt departure of American officials from an Australian Pacific island refugee camp has fanned fears among asylum-seekers that plans to resettle them in the US may not go ahead, an activist group said Sunday.

Canberra sends asylum-seekers to camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, but the conditions there have been criticized by refugee advocates and medical professionals.

The Australian government struck a deal with Washington under former president Barack Obama to resettle some of those refugees in the US.

But doubts over the arrangement have persisted after President Donald Trump this year attacked it as a "dumb deal."

US Department of Homeland Security officials had been assessing the asylum-seekers at Nauru as part of the arrangement when they abruptly left the island on Friday and Saturday, Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said.

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