The island republic of Nauru accepted 100 Afghan refugees off the Australian navy ship Manoora Wednesday. The asylum seekers disembarked after three weeks at sea, which started with their rescue from a sinking Indonesian ferry by a Norwegian freighter. They were then taken towards Australia only to be refused entry onto Australian shores. The crisis sparked an international outcry resulting in the 433 Afghan refugees being accepted by Nauru and New Zealand instead of Australia. Nauru accepted the refugees in return for $10.4 million in aid, and will house them in a temporary facility. As the refugees arrived, Wednesday, many held up a banner thanking Nauru “for giving protection and shelters for Afghan refugees.” The remaining asylum seekers aboard the ship, most of them Afghans, will disembark in the next few days. Then, 150 women and children will be flown to New Zealand where officials from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will process their asylum bids.
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