First group of Manus detainees depart for US resettlement

8:36 pm on 26 September 2017

The first group of Manus Island detainees have departed for the US under a refugee resettlement deal between Washington and Canberra.

The Guardian reports that 25 men flew out today from Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby, with a group of 29 from Nauru expected to follow within days.

Manus refugees checking the detention noticeboard

Manus refugees checking the detention noticeboard Photo: Supplied

A public affairs officer for the US embassy in PNG, Beverly Thacker, is quoted as saying the 54 refugees had been approved for resettlement.

The resettlement deal was originally brokered last year between Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and former US president Barack Obama.

Since taking over the US presidency, Donald Trump signalled he would reluctantly uphold the deal, although it remains unclear how many total refugees from Manus and Nauru will end up in America.

The original deal agreed on the resettlement of up to 1250 detainees from both Nauru and Manus.

As of September 20, there were 928 men held on Manus and 1135 people on Nauru, including 169 children.