4 Sep 2003

Fiji clears ex-soldiers for security duty in Iraq

4:17 pm on 4 September 2003

The Fiji government will not stop the private deployment of more than 400 former and reserve soldiers to take up security duties in Iraq next month.

The Fiji Sun reports that the minister for Home Affairs, Joketani Cokanasiga, has described the private deployment as similar to the recruitment of Fiji nurses for work in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States.

But Mr Cokanasiga says the recruitment has its own risks and it's up to the individual to assess them before they accept the job.

A British company, Global Risk Strategies, is recruiting the Fiji ex-servicemen for deployment next month.

An advance party of four senior officers will leave this weekend.

The company's Fiji representative, Lt. Colonel Sakes Raivoce, says Global Risk Strategies will pay for their uniforms and weapons, and inject about 4-million US dollars into the Fijian economy every six months.

He says the men will provide security at oil fields, banks, offices, United Nations offices and for VIPs.