EAST TIMOR DUTY FOR FIJI SOLDIERS PUT OFF AGAIN

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 10, 1999 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---The deployment of Fiji troops to East Timor has been deferred again.

A government statement said the soldiers now will leave in early January 2000.

The statement said the decision was reached late yesterday on the advice of Australian authorities.

"RFMF Headquarters has been informed by the Australian authorities that the RFMF component earmarked for East Timor is now expected to depart Fiji in early January 2000," army chief of staff for strategic planning Colonel Ratu George Kadavulevu said.

The change is the result of delays in the provision of necessary equipment for the troops.

"The delay in acquiring the equipment the RFMF seeks for its deployments has contributed to the change.

"Under the circumstances, we will now complete the present training cycle and allow personnel involved with the deployment to take leave."

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fiji Live.

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