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Fiji may lose peacekeeping job

Fiji may lose peacekeeping job if regime defies court

Tue, 6 Mar 2001 09:50:41 +1200

Issue No: 558 6 March 2001

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Fiji may lose peacekeeping job if court decision not abided by

Fiji may lose the esteemed job of international peacekeeping if the regime does not abide by the decision of the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald as well as the Age, reported that the US government will get Fiji removed from all peacekeeping duties. The papers say: " John Hennessey-Nyland, political and economic councillor for the US embassy, said there would be a `collective effort' by the US and other nations to have the UN remove Fijian peacekeepers from its international operations. That would be another severe blow to Fiji, which has built a reputation on the quality of its peacekeepers."

Fiji joined the UN and US sponsored peacekeeping operations in the Middle East about 20 years ago. Many thousands of Fiji's citizens employed by the army have served in the Middle East. This has given Fiji millions of dollars of revenue. It also gave fame to the Fiji military and many of its officers.

These fame and the achievements were destroyed in 1987 when the military took over government. They were at the risk of again being destroyed last year when some members of the military participated in the terrorist activities trying to overthrow the elected government. But the military as an institution stayed away from the terrorists.

The military has now stated that it will abide by the Court decision and will continue to ensure that law and order is maintained in the country.

The vast majority of Fiji's citizens now look upon the military as the final guarantor of democracy in the country. Indications are that the military will live by this expectation.


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