ENVOY RABUKA SAYS SOLOMONS COUP PREDICTED

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 8, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The Commonwealth envoy to the Solomons Islands, former Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, claims Australia had intelligence predictions of a coup in the Solomons.

From Suva, Radio Australia correspondent Graeme Dobell reports that Mr. Rabuka also says Australia was unable to act on the warnings.

"As the Commonwealth Special Envoy, Sitiveni Rabuka has spent much of the past 12 months negotiating for a peace settlement in the Solomon Islands, but he says the breakdown of government was foreseen: ‘I predicted quite some time ago. Intelligence had been received by the police and the prime minister's office that there was a coup in the making.’

"Mr. Rabuka says Australia and other key states in the South Pacific had the intelligence predictions, but could not avert the coup: ‘It's unfortunate that Australia, New Zealand and Fiji could not help in time.’

"Graeme Dobell, Radio Australia, Suva."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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