U.S. SAYS FIJI MILITARY MUST WITHDRAW

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 6) – The United States has called on the Fiji military to immediately withdraw from politics and allow the full return of democracy in the country.

In a statement, the Department of State said the U.S. condemns the Fiji military’s continued efforts to consolidate its control of the government, including the appointment of the commander as interim Prime Minister, the ongoing dismissal of government officials and efforts to establish an illegitimate government.

The State Department was also critical of the military’s campaign to suppress the freedom of speech of people advocating a return to democracy.

"The United States is deeply concerned about the military's threat against, and detention and abuse of, individuals speaking out in support of democracy and the rule of law in Fiji. It is a prerequisite of U.S. assistance and training for members of foreign militaries that the individuals and units in question have proven history of respect for human rights," the statement said.

On December 19, the Department of State announced a series of U.S measures undertaken in response to the military coup.

These included the suspension of military training and aid to the Fiji Military.

The State Department said these measures will stay in place until the President or Secretary of State determines that a democratically elected government has taken official in Fiji.

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