FIJI PEACEKEEPERS SUPPORT FORMER SOLDIERS IN PNG

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Nov. 20) – The Fiji Peacekeepers Association has called on the government to leave alone a group of former soldiers reported to be giving arms training in the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

The association general secretary, Taniela Senikuta, has told the Sunday Times that the government has forgotten that those men have families to feed back home.

He says the government and the media should not sensationalise the issue "as it is pure speculation."

Former rebel groups on Bougainville have threatened to kill or kidnap the Fijians unless they leave.

The Post Courier newspaper in PNG says the rebels have given the Bougainville autonomous government a seven-day deadline to remove the Fijians.

The former Fiji soldiers are reported to be giving youth in the Tonu area of Siwai district training in the use of high-powered assault weapons.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com

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