16 Nov 2005

Fiji media names mercenaries operating in Bougainville

10:28 am on 16 November 2005

The nine Fijian mercenaries operating on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville have been named in the Fiji media.

All nine have been confirmed to be members of the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit who underwent special forces training provided to elite troops.

Fiji military spokesman, Lt Col Etuweni Caucau, says some of them have served in hot spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Bolivia and are very dangerous.

Meanwhile the security company first reported to have sent the mercenaries to Bougainville, Tri Unity Fiji Limited, has distanced itself from them.

Company director Samuela Railoa has told the Fiji Sun that the men had been with Tri Unity but now work for Ronin High Risk Security which is headed by the leader of the gunmen in the Fiji coup, Ilisoni Ligairi.

Mr Railoa says Tri Unity had dissociated itself from Mr Ligairi's company two months ago and wants to clear its name because they do not want to have a bad image with their overseas clients.

The mercenaries are reported to have been hired by failed pyramid scheme operator and Bougainville secessionist, Noah Musingku, to provided military type training in the use of firearms to youths in the Tonu area of Siwai district.