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Nauru calls for responsibility from Australian Gov

Nauru calls for responsibility from Australian Government as hunger strike worsens

As the hunger strike in Nauru escalates, Nauru’s Minister for Finance, Kinza Clodumar, has condemned the Australian Government’s inaction and dismissal of its responsibility to asylum seekers.

In a statement today, Kinza Clodumar said comments made by the Australian Minister for Immigration, Amanda Vanstone, that asylum seekers on Nauru who refused to eat, “were not the responsibility of the Australian Government,” contravene the M.O.U. Australia made with Nauru regarding its duty of care to asylum seekers.

“The M.O.U. signed when Nauru first accepted asylum seekers, underlines Australia’s responsibility to ensure the day-to-day management of asylum seeker facilities including medical treatment and further clarifies that, “health and medical services, personnel, supplies and equipment will be provided by Australia at the facilities. Where medical cases cannot be treated at the facilities, Australia may seek the assistance of Nauru’s Health Services”.

The Acting Director of Medical Services in Nauru, Dr. Kieren Keke, has reported to the Nauru Government that staff have done everything possible to coordinate the treatment of asylum seekers with the IOM but that services face being overstretched as the situation gets out of control.

According to Dr. Keke, the imminent pressure on Nauru’s single hospital facility presented by the 35 hunger striking asylum seekers, represents a 140% rise in occupancy.

Dr. Keke said as “the needs of the hunger strikers begins to impact more on the delivery of healthcare to Nauruans, then we will be left with no other choice but to rethink our approach to providing care to the hunger strikers. This will of course lead to significant negative consequences and...is something I dearly wish to avoid”.

The Minister for Finance, Kinza Clodumar, claims that the Australian Government should take a more sympathetic and compassionate approach to the asylum seekers.

“The Australian Government cannot continue to ignore the plight of these forgotten people. It must act now to recognise its M.O.U. with Nauru as well as its humanitarian obligation by providing adequate care and treatment for the hunger striking asylum seekers”.


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