9 Dec 2002

Fiji peacekeepers returning from Lebanon seek assistance

2:53 pm on 9 December 2002

As Fiji prepares to celebrate the end of 24 years of United Nations peacekeeping duties by its soldiers in Lebanon, 140 of the returning troops are reported to be seeking assistance from the government.

Of the 550 returning soldiers, 250 have gone into the reserves, some have gone to their villages and others are seeking state assistance in finding a job.

A total of 15,000 Fijian soldiers have served in Lebanon during the years of Peacekeeping - 35 died there and 150 were wounded.

About 1,000 returning soldiers from all units will march through Suva on Friday to mark the end of their peacekpeeing service in Lebanon.

The army is trying to find similar duties in other parts of the world for soldiers wishing to remain on active service.