25 Feb 2003

Fiji military takes steps to prevent more coups

6:28 am on 25 February 2003

Fiji's military is taking measures aimed at preventing soldiers from staging coups again.

The military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has told Radio Fiji's Fijian language programme that this is possible through good leadership and professionalism.

Fiji's military staged two coups in 1987 under Sitiveni Rabuka and troops from the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit he set up carried out the May 2000 coup and the Suva army mutiny six months later.

Commodore Bainimarama says the army has now begun to professionalise all ranks of the force.

He says army officers will not only be required to be good leaders but also leaders who will serve.

Commodore Bainimarama says with professionalism, the army will be in a position to suppress uprisings such as the May 2000 coup.

He says all those who took part in that coup will be dealt with either in military or civilians courts.