FIJI REBELS GIVE UP HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 11, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Rebels in Fiji have given up control of a hydroelectric power station, ending the last standoff with authorities to arise from the May 19 coup.

The Fiji Electricity Authority says it's waiting for a security clearance from the army, before going to the site.

The Monasavu station has been under siege since July 6, when supporters of rebel leader George Speight took over several strategic locations around Fiji, putting pressure on the military, which had taken charge of the country.

The siege at the power station caused daily disruptions to the electricity supply.

Under an agreement reached with local landowners, a leasing arrangement will be established for the dam's catchment area.

The Electricity Authority says it hopes to be able to resume provision of normal supplies of electricity by early next week.

 

FIJI MILITARY ADMITS VANUA LEVU MISTAKE

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 11, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The Fiji military has admitted that it wrongly assaulted five men on the northern island of Vanua Levu last weekend.

As Radio Australia correspondent Ofa Kaukimoce reports from Suva, military spokesmen Major Howard Politini has confirmed that the army made a mistake.

"Major Politini says the names of the men who were involved in the incident were not on the list of rebels being hounded by the military.

"He says the soldiers realized they were mistaken after the five had been beaten, when they were taken into custody.

"Two of the men are from Bulileka village. They told National Radio that the officers came to their homes early Saturday morning. And despite their denial of any involvement with the rebels, they were still taken to the army camp and beaten several times with the barrel of a gun.

"The pair claims that they were held at gunpoint and made to write a letter to say they have forgiven the army for their mistake. But Major Politini says the army is not going to apologies for their action, saying it was an accident.

"Ofa Kaukimoce, 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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