No asylum seekers reach Australian shores in weeks

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Associated Press

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 1:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 15 at 2:33 AM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — No asylum seeker has reached Australia by boat in more than three weeks, but the army general charged with ending the sea traffic of would-be refugees from Southeast Asia says he is not yet prepared to declare victory.

The government won elections in September last year with a promise to stop people smugglers from sending asylum seekers to Australian shores in rickety boats, mostly from Indonesian ports.

Lt. Gen. Angus Campbell, who as commander of Operation Sovereign Borders oversees Australia's efforts to stop the boats, said Wednesday he would wait until the end of the current monsoon season in northern Australia in late March before judging the campaign.

Asylum seeker traffic typically slows during the monsoon season because of the rough seas it brings.

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