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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 2) – A contingent of 102 Fiji soldiers is expected to leave for Sinai within three weeks.

[PIR editor’s note: Sinai, Egypt, in the Middle East is bordered by Israel to the east, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea to the north and south respectively.]

Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Orisi Rabukawaqa said 44 soldiers would leave today for Sinai while the next batch would be in two weeks.

He said the soldiers who are already in Sinai would leave as soon as the first batch of 44 soldiers reached Cairo in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Multinational Force and Observers director general James Larocco told a press conference yesterday that Fiji has been a member of the Multinational Force and Observers since the flag was raised on April 12, 1982.

[PIR editor’s note: According to the Multinational Force and Observers website, Fijian Islanders serve a one-year tour of duty, with approximately one-quarter of the Fijian Battalion rotating every three months.]

He said the terrorist attacks in 2004 and 2005 resulted in tightened security and Fijian soldiers had played a key role from the start.

The two main areas of concern were national security and challenge of a new mission in the area where Fiji contingent is located up near the Gaza border.

"Fiji is doing a good job being on the frontline," Larocco said.

March 3, 2006


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