28 Jul 2004

Fiji earns US$3.5m from peacekeeping

6:17 am on 28 July 2004

Fiji's police commissioner says members of the force can earn up to 3.5 million US dollars a year by exporting their peacekeeping skills.

Andrew Hughes has told the Fiji Times he wants peacekeeping to become a core business in the force as it is a profitable and valuable venture.

Fiji police first saw overseas service in Namibia in 1989 and currently there are officers in Liberia, Kosovo and Solomon Islands.

Mr Hughes says opportunities for peacekeeping are opening up in Sierra Leone, Congo and Sudan a well as with the United Nations in Haiti.

He says they are developing a programme to have up to 100 officers off-shore at any one time.

Mr Hughes also wants to see his senior officers used as commissioners or deputy commissioners of overseas missions, adding that some of them are very well paid, with earnings going up to 250,000 US dollars a year tax free.