SECURITY SOUGHT FOR FIJI COUP PRISONERS

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By Ana Tudrau

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Jan. 2) - Additional funds will be sought by the Prisons department to allow security for coup prisoners on Nukulau Island.

This follows the withdrawal of the army’s services from Nukulau about a week ago due to financial constraints.

The army had been tasked with having to secure the island since the coup of May 2000.

At the moment, prison officers are providing security but more funds would be needed to provide more personnel.

The Prisons Commissioner, Aisea Taoka, said the department had made submissions for additional provisions in its budgetary allocations.

Asked whether the department would seek assistance from other security firms, Mr Taoka said he would do so, from appropriate authorities, as and when required.

He however said that his department was not responsible for security at the Monasavu dam. The army also withdrew its services from Monasavu for the same reason.

They had been stationed there with the same task after rebels forcefully took over the dam, in the wake of the 2000 crisis.

All this time, the Fiji Electricity Authority has been providing accommodation for soldiers.

Army spokesman, Warrant Officer class one, Neumi Leweni, said because they had run out of funds, it was now up to the FEA whether they still wanted the Monasavu dam secured. However, questions sent to FEA’s acting chief executive officer, Kasa Saubulinayau, remained unanswered when this edition went to press last night.

Police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, said the army’s withdrawal from Nukulau and Monasavu, was a military issue and they had nothing to do with it. 

He confirmed that they had not been approached to assist with security in these two areas.

January 2, 2004

FijiSUN: http://www.sun.com.fj/

 

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