Fiji Military Ready ‘To Crush Instability Or Insurrection’

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Army involved after reports of weapons being used

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 20, 2015) – The Fiji Land Force Commander says his soldiers will carry out the Prime Minister's intentions to crush instability or insurrection if need be.

Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho says 140 infantry personnel will assist the police in their investigations of groups undertaking suspected seditious behaviour.

Colonel Qiliho says the possibility of weapons being involved has triggered the move, which will see unarmed police being protected.

The Commander says it is also the constitutional role of the military to safeguard the security and well-being of Fiji.

"You can understand what we've been through in the year 2000 and we don't want such an event to occur again in Fiji. We want Fiji to prosper. We don't want any of those kind of events to happen again. Like our Prime Minister has said, there will be no more coups or no more instability or insurrection. He has mentioned the words that he will crush it and we go by the intentions of our Prime Minister."

65 people have appeared in court over the past six weeks charged with sedition, with one group alleged to have conducted military style training in the hills of Ra province.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio Australia reported that ‘A lawyer representing some of the people charged with sedition and inciting political violence in Fiji says authorities are yet to show evidence of their claims. ... At least 65 people were arrested and charged in recent weeks. ... Some have been accused of trying to form a separate Christian state while others are alleged to have used firearms and being involved in military-style training. ... Defence lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh said he had yet to receive any information about evidence from prosecutors and police.’]

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