15 Nov 2005

Fiji police contingent to join UN force in Sudan

7:32 am on 15 November 2005

A small contingent of Fiji police officers has left for Sudan to join United Nations force to restore peace and order.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has told Fiji TV the mission is in line with the government's foreign policy objectives and the police are happy to oblige.

Mr Hughes says the Fiji officers will be initially based in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

They'll be responsible for peace building, making sure that the peace agreement between the warring factions is honoured, protecting United Nations staff and ensuring that human rights are respected.

With Sudan being part of the continent where there's a pandemic of HIV/Aids, Mr Hughes says the police officers have been given a detailed briefing on the disease.

They have undergone stringent checks before leaving and will undergo the same on their return in November next year before rejoining their families.