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SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 29, 1999 – Fiji Broadcasting Corporation)---The departure of 190 Fijian soldiers to East Timor may take a little longer than earlier expected.

Fiji Military Forces (FMF) spokesperson Col. Ratu George Kadavulevu told Radio Fiji News that the delay is due to a shortage of military equipment.

Ratu George said the Australian government has run out of supplies to equip the Fiji contingent, after it sent its remaining stocks to East Timor for use by other troops.

Also, he said he was informed by the Australian embassy that military officials are working on obtaining additional equipment.

The FMF spokesman confirmed that the East Timor mission is still to go forward and that the Fiji troops are fully prepared to depart.

The contingent now is expected to leave for the assignment during the second week of December.

For additional reports from The Fiji Broadcasting Commission, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Sources/Fiji Live.

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