22 Nov 2002

Fiji peacekeepers want foreigner as army commander

4:37 pm on 22 November 2002

The Fiji Peacekeepers Association has called for an expatriate to be the next commander of the military.

The call follows several statements from the ministry of home affairs that it has recommended Raer Admiral Frank Bainimarama to be the new commander of the United Nations Observer Mission in Kuwait, UNIKOM.

The Peacekeepers Association says there is no suitable local to clean up the mess in the military.

It says there has been a lot of suffering in Fiji as a result of the 1987 and 2000 coups.

In a statement, the association says it is time for a neutral commander to head the military with its chief of staff also an expatriate.

Rear Admiral Bainimarama says he ahs not applied for the UN job but the government says it has promoted him and put forward his name.

The home affairs minister, Joketani Sokanasiga, says Colonel Iowane Naivalurua is most likely to be the next commander of the military.