8 Nov 2004

First 24 of 158 Fiji troops depart for Iraq tomorrow

8:41 pm on 8 November 2004

A Fiji army spokesperson says the 158 Fiji military personnel being deployed to Iraq have been well prepared and they are looking forward to their duty.

The first 24 soldiers, who will be personal bodyguards for United Nations VIPs, leave for Iraq tomorrow, travelling via Londan and Kuwait to Baghdad.

Another 134 soldiers leave next week to guard the new UN headquarters in Baghdad.

Army spokesperson Captain Neumi Leweni says they recognise it is a dangerous job but Fiji is honoured to have been chosen to guard the UN.

He says the soldiers have received a month's special training.

"the Government has ensured that the men are well trained in whichever area they will be employed in, and the men are all looking forward to duty in Iraq"