25 Nov 2006

Fiji territorial soldiers recalled to barracks

8:30 am on 25 November 2006

Fiji's military has ordered all territorial force soldiers numbering over 3,000 to march into camp today, little more than a week after they completed their last annual training.

The Fiji Sun reports that the military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, has confirmed the call up, but declined to give the reason.

The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, said on Thursday there was clear evidence that Fiji's military was planning to stage a coup within the next two weeks.

At the same time, Fiji's Australian police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, was saying in Suva that there were seven investigations into Commodore Bainimarama and his officers, and anyone who committed unlawful acts would face the law.

Mr Hughes said no one, not even the president or the highest office in the land, could authorise unlawful activities.

Mr Downer said he had asked Fiji prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to call a meeting of foreign ministers of Pacific Forum countries to address the crisis.