World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Fiji Military Hunt Renegades After Failed Mutiny

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/
USP Pasifik Nius: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.html
USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ):
http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm
Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook

See earlier reports online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/docs/news/nius3077shoot.html

By David Robie USP's Pacific Journalism Online

SUVA: Loyalist Fiji troops were early today searching bush areas in the suburbs of the capital of Suva for renegade special force soldiers who failed to kidnap the military commander in yesterday's mutiny in the main barracks.

Six soldiers from the elite Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit fled in a van from Queen Elizabeth Barracks and were believed to be hiding in bushland in the seaside township of Lami and at least 20 others were pursued by troops in a gully near the military camp last night.

Military spokesman Major Howard Politini today confirmed that eight soldiers had been killed in the shootout at the barracks yesterday afternoon and in an assault on the military headquarters last night by forces loyal to the commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

He said the renegades were "armed and dangerous" and military authorities extended the curfew in the Suva and Nausori areas until 6am tomorrow to assist the search.

Five junior officers held hostage in the officer's mess were freed unharmed by the loyalist troops who stormed the barracks about 6.20pm with heavy artillery fire.

Three loyalist soldiers and five rebels were killed. At least 10 were wounded and there were reports of up to nine civilians being treated at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital for wounds from stray bullets.

Major Politini said on Radio Fiji that many of the wounded soldiers, including a woman, had been "defenceless and unarmed" at the time the rebels opened fire with M16 and K2 rifles about 1pm yesterday.

But he did not comment on questions by the radio on allegations that some of the rebels had been beaten to death after being wounded.

Interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase of the military-installed administration pledged in a nation-wide broadcast last night that justice would be done after the "act of insurrection".

He also appealed for support from the nation for his administration.

"You have my word that justice will be done," he said, paying tribute to the soldiers who died in putting down the mutiny.

Qarase had just returned to Fiji yesterday from the South Pacific Forum leaders meeting in Kiribati.

Fiji's President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, is in Australia undergoing a medical review. Iloilo had refused to hand over executive authority to his deputy, Ratu Jope Seniloli, while Seniloli is under police investigation for his alleged role in the May coup.

Radio Fiji said the the mutiny had been staged by a different group of the CRW unit than the soldiers who had taken part in the May 19 coup led by failed businessman George Speight.

The rebels had been disenchanted with the military leadership and the treatment of the renegades in the May putsch.

Eight CRW soldiers who took part in the coup and were expected to be court martialled were released from military custody last week. They returned to duties this week.

Major Politini admitted on Radio Fiji that the military had "erred" in freeing the renegade soldiers.

The radio, quoting military sources, said the rebels quickly joined their colleagues in the attempt to take over the barracks' main armoury.

But they failed to kidnap Commodore Bainimarama as they seized junior officers lunching in the officers' mess.

He escaped from the barracks with bodyguards and later visited wounded soldiers in the hospital.

The demands of the rebels were unclear.

The rebels were reportedly led by a Lieutenant Cakai.

The CRW unit was set up by 1987 coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka as an elite force to protect the government.

Some CRW soldiers trained on Rabuka’s farm on the northern island of Vanua Levu before seizing the Parliament compound on May 19 and holding the elected government hostage for 56 days.

However, former prime minister Rabuka denied in interviews any knowledge that his farm had been used for the training.

Rabuka had been asked by the mutinous soldiers to mediate between them and the military high command. But Commodore Bainimarama refused to negotiate and opted for an attack on the barracks.

Speight and his accused coup ringleaders are detained at a makeshift prison on the island of Nukulau off the coast of Suva awaiting trial on treason charges.

+++niuswire


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news